N flew** in from her 11 day trip to Oregon where she had spent her third year at camp followed by a camping trip with a group of families (who are our family) on the coast for the weekend into the 4th. I picked her up at the airport, stayed the night at the in-laws (who stayed up to wash her two sets of camp clothes), and then took to the road southerly for a 5-hour** road trip for her last trip this summer: 2 1/2 weeks with the others. After dropping the daughter off, I turned round and headed back for a long lonely wearisome drive.
The road trip would have been a lovely time to exercise my new found habit of listening to audio-books, but it is a new enough thing for me that I forgot to check one or three out. Instead, I had the company of the same discs that have lived in the car for the last year or more. (I broke our iPod connector early on.)
Sean and I dated long distance. I would get 4 day weekends at work (thank you ladies) and drive 12 hours to ABQ when it wasn’t winter. Oh the books I would have read if I’d used audio-books. Instead Sean wooed me through the mixed-cds he made me. (yes, they were that good.)
When we were married a year and I was stuck (for a brief time) in ABQ and Sean moved up to Bozeman for work, I would make the endless drive north for long weekends, again. By then I knew what to play at 5 in the morning (Green Day American Idiot) and what worked best for city driving (Juno Reactor or Prodigy) and that mid-afternoon slump (Slobberbone, Old 97s, Cake, Pete Yorn, or those good ol’ mixed cds).
Driving home the other day, I found I didn’t regret the necessity of listening through complete albums and singing maniacally at the top of my lungs, just letting the tears fall during the emotional parts, harmonizing at will… The cds Sean made will have to return to the car, I missed them. But I did have my Perfect Circle, Blink-182, Foo Fighters, Snow Patrol, Belly…and N’s mix we made for her when she turned 8. Will have to burn her 10th year compilation, too, now I think about it, now that I am listening to it, the ‘b-side’ was good.*** And maybe some Guster, I could sing the Keep It Together album quite energetically while winding through the passes (at a respectable speed and pitch)—“Careful” anyone?! Hmm, and maybe Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars” for the straightaways with my Lover in the car with me this time…
May need to forget the audio-book on the return trip to get my baby girl again—the day before she turns 11! Maybe another compilation to celebrate– and wile away those long hours? again.
*Recalling, too, her 12 day trip to Berlin, Germany for an exchange program early June.
**I really should sit down and catalog the number of flights she’s taken in her young life so far.
***part 1 were female singers, part 2 male (mostly). Part 2: Stare at the Sun by Thrice; Closer by Kings of Leon; Bullet with Butterfly Wings by The Smashing Pumpkins; Call to Arms by Angels & Airwaves; Basket Case by Green Day; The Middle by Jimmy Eat World; The Love Cats by The Cure (one of her faves); Make you Smile by +44; Staring at the Sun by TV on the Radio; Obstacle 1 by Interpol; Where is My Mind by The Pixies (still trying to win her over to this band <sniffle>); and Hallelujah by Jeff Buckley.
above photograph by friend Ryan Shelburne. I call it “oregon” and it makes me homesick.