Spring is poking its head up all around. As my husband and I emerge from our winter lodgings in Tucson, we’ve joined the increase of traveling RVs on the road. (The cat is not happy.) As other RVs began to leave, the urge to get out and go—somewhere, anywhere—increased. Promises of “see you next year” rang out as people prepped their rigs, unhooked from the utilities, packed their gear, and left. We all share that same wanderlust.
I can almost hear a chorus of The Road Goes Ever On with Bilbo Baggins leading the chorus.
As Bilbo learned, there is also danger on the road: the impatience of other drivers, parts breaking in cars and rigs. Weather has gotten stranger and more extreme. Clear roads can’t be counted on anymore.
There be dragons.
My grandfather was a man who loved to travel. How he ever connected with my grandmother’s high German merchant family remains a mystery to me. He took her away from the security of her family’s wealth and stability, to a struggle of a life in New York City’s immigrant community. But she retained her ways. The table was always set, and she could be seen scrubbing the front stoop when it became too much for her sensibilities.
Sometimes she’d come home from shopping to find her husband had left her a note, telling her he’d taken a job as waiter on a cruise ship.
He was on the road again.
I can see both of these threads in my own personality. I’ve had the urge to travel all my life. I remember long ago seeing a young blond woman in a pale yellow Volkswagen beetle driving onto the on-ramp of the Massachusetts turnpike. I thought, “I’m going to be like her.”
My hair is gray, the car is a Toyota Highlander, and I’m not alone, but later today we’ll get on the highway and go.