Monday, May 5, 2008

The End of the (Sunday Drive) as We Know It

We went for a drive last night. A drive. We put the boys in the car, coasted down the driveway, and went for a DRIVE. How weird was that? True, we first had a few stops to make. We hit the bank machine. We filled the gas tank. Then we got some ice cream. Or was that AFTER the drive? Doesn't matter. We drove, just for the sake of driving. Didn't go far - just up Rt. 220 for a few miles, because the day before, I'd ridden up there with a friend and her mom and her mom's friend to go to a cooking show, and the red buds were out in full color and very pretty. I really wanted to show Mark, because I knew he would enjoy it, so we figured, what the heck?

I remembered back in my childhood days, my parents were always taking us on "rides". We'd go anywhere, or nowhere, but usually it was Sunday afternoon, maybe after dinner. It was family time. Most often it was summer, and we'd ride with the windows down, smelling the summery smells, feeling the warm breeze in our face. Sometimes we'd find a carnival or an ice cream stand. Sometimes we'd find a thunderstorm. Those were magical times. Spontaneous.

It occurred to me last night that you don't see a whole lot of this anymore. With gas at $3.50 a gallon, no wonder. But I think it's more than that. When people are driving 2 and 3 hours a day, stuck in their cars, stuck in rush hour, stuck in traffic, really, who wants to go get in their car on the weekends? No longer is mom stuck at home with the kids all week because Dad's got the only car - nope. Mom's pretty mobile - she's got to be with all the kids having their own schedules. And really, what's to even see anymore?

Is the Sunday drive a little bit of Americana that's fading away? Even Jonathan sensed it was something unusual. "Where are we going?" For a drive. "But Why?" To see some pretty things. "But Why?" Because it's nice to see pretty things. "But where are we going?" Ahem.

Maybe one day I'll explain it a little better. When gas is cheaper.


C.S. said...

You should try and get that published somewhere. It's so simple and true and really speaks to anyone our age or older.

Ohighway said...

Excellent post, and puts into words something that had been haunting around in the back of my mind. Yeah, my folks used to take family drives, usually on Sunday.
Have I done the same now that I have family? No. Gotta' wonder why. The times I have taken the kids for a drive ( one at a time) has certainly stuck in their mind, and in a very favorable way.