Best of 09 Blog Challenge: Car Ride

by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

Note: Every day thru December 31 I’ll be posting from this list. Feel free to join the fun. Just post your link in the comments section so I can follow you, too.

These Best of 09’s are really getting me to think. Best Car Ride? Seriously? I really should be jotting things down all throughout the year. Certainly, the routine drives to run errands don’t even make it to the chopping block. But here’s what does:

For this one, I’m not sure I can choose just one. There are the car rides where Jackson sticks his head out the window and lets his jowls flap in the wind. There are the car rides along the beach. There was the car ride that took me to the cruise. The car rides that took me to the Glendale Hilton. The car rides that took us to Palm Springs in the dead heat of summer. The car rides that kept me dry in the rain. The car rides that kept me cool in the heat. The car rides that kept me warm in the cold. The car ride that took me to San Clemente Beach for camping. The car rides that took me to see the Dave Matthews Band. The ones that took me to see Brandi Carlile. The ones that took me to the airport to go to Chicago. And Houston. And Dallas. And Vegas. The ones to the vet. The ones to meet with clients. The ones every Wednesday to Manhattan Beach (O the beauty of Manhattan Beach!) The ones to go out for a round of golf. The ones that took us to dinner at our favorite Italian place in Long Beach.

And then there were the car rides home. Sometimes a car ride home meant the end to a great day or night or weekend or vacation. Sometimes it meant there was just nothing more I could do. Sometimes it meant I was simply done. Done with the day, done with the night, done with the weekend, done with the vacation. Sometimes it meant I was ready to go home, to be home.

There’s something great about being home. The feeling of being in my home is like nothing else. It’s what we chose, what we decorated, what we live in, what we love in. I’ve heard home is where the heart is, but for me, my heart has been looking for this home for a long time. I thought of my grandparents’ house as my home until my grandmother passed away, and then it was just a house my grandfather wouldn’t fix up because he was too old and too tired and we could just do it after he died, he said. And after my he died, and then my father died (and didn’t need a house without stairs), there was no point in me keeping that house, because it was just that: a house. And this, this place that has me buying stock in Home Depot, is my home. So the car rides that bring me here, it seems they might be the best of 09.

But if I had to pick a car ride for the sake of the ride and not the destination, I’d choose the car ride from Flower Mound, TX to Ponder, TX. We took a little curvy road that took us through houses with land (acres of land! not just the few feet of fenced off pavers we call a back yard), and green land at that. Not that I’ve ever dreamed of owning a ranch or a farm, but I do love seeing ranches and farms, and land Road to Ponderwhere cows and horses roam (nearly) free, grazing all the live long day and doing whatever it is that cows and horses with land to roam do. Seeing those houses on that day reminded me of being a kid with my mom and the story she used to tell me about hill cows and moo cows (I’ll save that story for another post). It reminded me that there is life outside the concrete jungle that is Los Angeles—I mean, I know this, but it’s always nice to have, to see these reminders. The drive wasn’t all on this beautiful road, but the great thing about that is that I only remember the beauty of the ride, so the rest of it doesn’t even matter. I loved the twists and turns, the grass, the trees, the blue skies, the cows, the horses (and maybe even a goat or two?). I loved the company and engaging with Erin and her sister in law. I loved being curious about each house and each tree and each cow and each horse (and each goat). I loved the wonder that car ride brought out in me. Yes, that car ride to Ponder was the best of 09.

Or was it?

Writing about this drive has flooded my mind with a few other drives that made a mark on me this year. I need some time to think about these in order to articulate how I feel about them now and how they changed me, or if it’s just in my mind that I was changed at all. I love these posts because they get me thinking. They get my brain working and thinking about the things in my life that are good, the things in my life that are worth remembering, and worth thinking about. They get me thinking about the impact. The impact of things, of life, of me. What about you?

How has a single car ride impacted your life this year?

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