I hit the road for my six-week road trip in two days. “Where are you going?” everyone asks. “All over!” is my answer. But the truth is, I don’t really know where I’m going. Or what I’ll encounter. And that’s a very different, weird feeling for me.
Two stops are set in stone, right off the bat: I’m driving my Ford Escape Hybrid 2,500 miles to Atlanta in four days to attend a dear friend’s wedding, then heading to Savannah to see new friends who are taking a respite from the wintry Massachusetts weather. I hope it’s a respite. All this ice in the south has me a little concerned. I left my chains at my parent’s house in Phoenix. I’ll be fine, right?
After that, it’s wide-open spaces.
The whole purpose of the trip, of course, is to visit 923 Oaks. I have several to visit, sprinkled all over the country … and as I drive from place to place, near a 923 Oak yet to respond, I just may have to knock on a few front doors. Which makes me a little uneasy. Flashback to Terrace Avenue, circa 1984, and a young girl with an unfortunate perm knocking on neighbors’ doors to sell popcorn for middle school band. Yuck.
Beyond the anxiety of having to bother & beg 923 Oak residents to talk to me, I’m a little uncomfortable with not having a plan. Not a bad thing, I know. My sister Sara challenges me on my ability to be spontaneous. I love to be spontaneous! I just like to plan the times during which I will be spontaneous.
So what to pack to be prepared for the spontaneous? (Is that an oxymoron?) Snow boots and the requisite gloves, hat & scarves, along with a few summer dresses and swimsuit for good measure. Wait: the far-out weather forecasts predict low 70s in Savannah next weekend. Adding more skirts & flip flops.V:king set – best lawn game ever. This is a solo road trip – not sure who I think will be playing these games with me.
I’ve narrowed down my stack of books to bring. I’ll listen to the Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil audiobook at some point during the 36-hour drive before seeing Savannah for the first time. Months of This American Life and This I Believe podcasts are ready to go.
I’m replacing my cracked windshield today. Got new tires last week. Fresh oil change and new wipers too. All good with the car. (Except those chains.)
And the essentials: corkscrew, portable iPod speakers, birthday gift for my godson Ben when I visit his family in New Jersey; packed. Yoga mat in hopes that I will actually use it. And my America cake pan, in case anyone will be up for baking a cake with me.
I’m kind of looking forward to not knowing what’s around the corner.
But what am I forgetting, so I’m prepared for the spontaneous?!