Friday, October 30, 2009

Memphis TN to Virginia

As we are driving this morning, the Dora song "We Did It" is running through my head.  Yesterday I was feeling a mix of sadness over our out west trip ending and excitement to be back "home" on the east coast.  Today I just can't wait to be home as in home in Florida, mostly due to sheer exhaustion.  We had one more stop before we hit Florida, and that is Virginia where Nathan's family is.  Austin and I have not visited his Mom since last Fall, so it's been a year.  I'm hoping to be able to physically rest my back enough to be able to fully enjoy the visit with her and other family members.

For those that don't know, I have back issues.  If I manage my lifestyle in a way that lends to my back being well, I do very well and it is hardly noticeable.  When I don't, it can become quite bothersome.  I am now beyond the quite bothersome stage at this point and at the pain where I can't sleep at night stage.  It will take me a few weeks to fully get back to normal.  I don't like being at this point of pain, so I am looking forward to being back in an environment where I can start to heal again.

Now, I'm sharing all of that not to complain or crybaby but to share that this is just one small sign of how much it means to us to have travel time with our travel buddies.  Because they are not full timers, they can't do slow and steady like us.  So we push ourselves in a different way when with them.  We have been pondering the differences of how our life looks when alone and when with them.  We have been talking about making adjustments in life when opportunities are there, so you can take advantage of them and not let them pass you by.  We talked about weighing the options to decide whether it is worth it to you to adjust or not.  How when life brings new things there are always pros and cons to them.

For example, when alone, we tend to spend two to three weeks in one place.  We largely move this way due to my back, and we've learned to utilize it to enjoy the benefits of that.  Which means we may latch on to one or two things in that area and immerse ourselves in that.  We soak it up until we are full and then move on.  In the past month, on the other hand, we blew through so many things we sampled them at best.  We have this feeling of ugh...we feel as if we barely got more than a glimpse of these fabulous things.  It'll be interesting to see if we come back to them later during down times this winter and dig in deeper or if we'll wait until we can return and immerse ourselves to revisit those things.

Because we spent so much time in the truck (and it's the number 2 enemy to my back health) I had to spend much more time than normal being physically "down" or being quiet to compensate.  So that offset our ability to dig in and go deeper during our in the RV times or driving times.

The flip side to that is we saw an incredible amount of things in a short period of time.  We were able to share in so many neat things that it was hard for me to nail down a favorite when pondering it yesterday.  Our kids will no doubt have many memories, spread out over many interesting places we saw.  And all of that is so cool.  More than anything, it just switches things up for us when we travel with our buddies.  Which is a wonderful thing.  It's truly hard to bring "newness" to someone's life that experiences a new address every two to three weeks and yet they manage to do that each and every time we are with them.  They are incredible people in that way.

All of that to say, even though my body feels like it fought Chuck Norris and Chuck Norris was all worth it to me.   I'm pretty sure the guys feel the same way.  We see it as such a wonderful gift that we just had this trip together and are so humbled by the huge sacrifices that our travel buddies made in order to do this trip with us.  Even with my back stuff being a bugaboo to contend with, they had to do much more stretching of themselves to make this happen.  My BIL worked full days before then doing full driving days.  Something we never have to do.  They came out with two sick that is only three.  They traveled with a three year old...'nuff said.

It's the wonderful give and take of relationships and the meshing of one's lives when you chose to live in a way together beyond the superficial.  It's a beautiful thing really, when you think about it.  It enlarges you as people and shows your kids how community looks at its closest level.  And as I lie resting this next week, I'm gonna bask in the wonder of all of that.

Living the life fully with our family and our travel buddies!  Now, where is my cane?  If I have to feel as wretched as House, I might as well look like him too.


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Hope you feel better soon! You have a great description here of the travel dillema -- see more places or more of fewer -- that we face on our road trips.

I've been enjoying this latest roadtrip of yours; since you left Washington, all of the places you talked about have been new to us. I never know whether it's more fun to read travel articles about places we've been (and compare notes) or get new ideas for a future trip.

We're off to Florida in a couple of weeks. Keep it warm for us!

And get well.

little castle said...

Thank you for the get well wishes, Sallie.

I have felt the same when reading your post about the National Parks you have been to-some are great because I've been there and can relate and some are great because I haven't been there so I get to enjoy it through your posts.

It is always a toss up with the different styles of travel and which is the way to do it, isn't it? There is good/bad to doing it either way.

I like that we do travel with them just enough to mix it up some and my poor back couldn't bear to do it much more than that. =)

I hope you enjoy your drive to Florida and that you are able to see the same lovely fall foliage that we have.