Rural Indiana, January 21, 2013, on our way home to Kentucky . . .
There’s nothing quite like a weekend with my two daughters, unless it is a three-day weekend with my two daughters that finds us going on an adventure together. I took off of work today since they had the day off from school, and yesterday, we took off on a surprise adventure that ended with us going to an indoor water park and spending the night in the adjacent hotel. To them, this little adventure was a big deal, and it was for me, as well, for a variety of reasons.
We had a blast playing on the water slides and in the pool and then relaxing in the “lazy river” before having dinner and hitting the arcade. Spending time together without having to follow a schedule or worrying about school or work was pure bliss, and we enjoyed every moment that we spent talking, laughing, playing, and snuggling with one another. As much as I liked the time we spent at the indoor water park and the hotel, I actually enjoyed the drive to and from the hotel the most.
The trip only took us about 65 miles from our home, but at least 40 miles of the drive is along a two-lane road that stretches across the beautiful, rural Indiana countryside. On the way there, since the girls did not know where we were going, they were very attentive, as they tried to find clues as to where our journey would end. In the midst of their sleuthing, they quickly became enamored with the simplicity and beauty of life in the country. The sight of cows, pigs, and horses elicited squeals of delight, and every small town we passed through brought questions and comments, like “I wonder where the kids go to school”; “Where is their Target?”; “Look at that cute diner”; “I wish we lived here, at least for a little while”; and many other observations. When we would fly over a hill, the girls would break into peals of laughter when it would cause their stomachs to drop a bit, like they do when riding on a roller coaster. It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon, and these sweet moments continued the entire way to the hotel, without either one of them retreating to their iPods, iTouches, or Kindle Fires. It was just the three of us in the car, with the only other company being the music we sang along to from the radio from time to time.
When we headed home today, I fully expected that the ride home would be much different from yesterday’s drive, as the surprise already had been revealed and enjoyed, but as usual, the girls proved me wrong. It was below freezing when we set out to return home this morning, but there was so much warmth and love in that car on our drive, that I became tearful, at times. The girls eschewed their electronics for more great conversations, belly laughs, and sing-a-longs, and they truly are as in love with farms, wide open fields, hills and dales, and rural life as I am. At one point, as if almost on cue, Jason Aldean’s song, “Fly Over States”, came on, and when he sang, “Have you ever been through Indiana?”, my younger daughter remarked, “I’m glad Indiana is on the way to Kentucky, because I like driving through it.” I am very glad, too, especially since I had my favorite two traveling companions with me. This comment was followed by her sister’s statement of, “Mama, I am glad we live in the country.” We live in the suburbs actually, but they are southern girls at heart and think that makes them country girls. One day, they will come to understand geographical differences, but for now, and always, may they be who they envision themselves to be and keep a bit of country in their hearts.
That’s another story . . .
Categories: That's Another Story