In my post Getting Ready to “Retreat” I shared my excitement on heading to a 4-day quilting retreat with my quilting friends from WA, OR, and CA. This next series of posts will be about that 4-day retreat.
Last May I attend the Sew N Go Retreat in Vancouver, WA (outside of Portland, OR) for the first time. I live about 3 1/2 hours from Vancouver, WA and I drove to the retreat with a friend who was also attending. Last Thursday I returned to the retreat, and this time I drove alone.
I was bummed, at first, to drive alone this year to the retreat. All I could think was: “3 1/2 + hours in the car, not fun”. I was wrong. Road trips with friends are great, however it can be quite fun to go on a road trip alone!
My husband and I both have older cars (we are all about having paid off cars) and I borrowed my husband’s car, the newer car (which is only 10 years old instead of 14+ years old like my car). My husband teases me that soon my car can be registered as an “antique”, however I do not think there is much of an automobile collector’s market for classic 2001 Saturns (perhaps there is one person in Uruguay who dreams of owning a non luxury old Saturn).
One of the drawbacks with older cars is you do not have the cool technology you have with newer cars – like a built in jack for your iPhone to allow you play tunes through the car radio. I did have an old FM transmitter powered by the car jack (formerly known in the old days as “the cigarette lighter”) and once I found a FM radio channel not used by any station, I was able to transmit my tunes through the car radio!
Armed with a package of roasted almonds, a container of blueberries, water, a turkey sandwich (I was eating healthy on the way to the quilting retreat as I planned to make naughty food choices the next 4 days) and my iTunes mixes on my iPhone, I was ready for my road trip! There is something very relaxing about listening to music alone on a long drive.
Most of my drive was pretty scenic, even if it was overcast, as I journeyed through part of the Cascade Mountain range with little traffic on a Thursday morning. There were a couple moments of what I would call “pure bliss” where it was just me, the road and my tunes. I felt light and carefree and at peace with all around me. I promised myself on the drive not to think about any life worries or concerns; not think about work; and not try to plan my life (I tend to be an over-planner). I had decided to just be in the moment on my drive.
Along the highway on my trip I would find “Car Buddies“. For more years then I remember I have always been into finding imaginary “Car Buddies” when on long drives. What are “Car Buddies”? Car Buddies are other cars that you follow for a long period of time. If you are on a one lane highway and a passing lane appears, you do not pass them, They are your buddy and you stay behind them maintaining a reasonable speed. The most appealing car buddies of course, are those who are going an acceptable speed! Sometimes if I have been with a car buddy for a long time on the road I get kind of sad for a moment when they take an exit that I am not taking. I always say aloud: “bye-bye car buddy, thanks and take care!” Yes I am weird. I have imaginary friendships and connections with other cars on the road.
Hey you never know when you are driving long distance, if I am behind you, making you my imaginary Car Buddy!
A bonus to the peaceful and relaxing road trip was that I was headed to a fun weekend. However I did not want the road trip to end – as I got closer, I wished I had a further to drive!