(c) 2012 Sherman Lambert

Wondering where I went? Yes, I really did go away. Sometimes you just have to get out of Dodge, even if you’re just going on a classic road trip across the wide open spaces of the Midwest prairie.

Sherman, Jackson, and I left Thursday night for Oklahoma to see my brother Scott and his family. After so many years of having to come to Colorado because Mom was here, they thought we ought to go there. True enough. Although Scott hosted a family reunion in a state park in Oklahoma a few years ago, I hadn’t been to their home since Mom and I came to nephew Chris’ high school graduation in 2007. The others hadn’t visited since 2002. Yikes.

As Scott and his wife Lori will tell you, Oklahoma City is way too far from Denver—approximately 11 to 12 hours by car. That’s just inconvenient, even it if it’s doable.

Although Sherman and I had made it to meet with everyone at Chris’ college in McPherson, Kansas twice in the last year and half, both for one of his football games and for his graduation, they still wanted us to visit them in their home, meet their new grandkids, see their remodeling, and partake of their hospitality.

Check, check, check, and check.

After my road-trip-related injury last year, I have become quite afraid about hitting the road, let alone about pushing through the drive in one day. That’s why we planned to spend the first night along the way since we weren’t leaving until a couple hours after Sherman got out of work. Still, we hadn’t planned to sit on the Interstate for an hour. We weren’t even stuck in the city, but we got to turn off the engine and wait anyway until a semi had been moved off the road. So we got in an impromptu picnic and got to read together while watching the almost full moon rise on a clear night made for driving.

(c) 2012 Sherman Lambert

When we pulled into our motel at 2:30 a.m. (lost an hour to a time zone change too), we just crept in quietly and fell asleep. Too bad our neighbor didn’t worry about creeping out, huh? Wouldn’t be a road trip if you couldn’t listen to the alarm in the next room beeping—ignored for at least 20 minutes or so which meant we got to get on the road sooner than planned. Yes, when Mr. Snooze-through-the-alarm did get up, then he took his motorcycle (Muffler? What muffler?) for a spin around the parking lot before parking it again and cranking a classic rock station. I like Z Z Top, really, but not as my wake-up call!

(c) 2012 Trina Lambert. This, however, is not normal!

Rise and shine, right? So we did, hitting city limits before afternoon rush hour, but, maybe taking the wrong turn and getting to experience rush hour anyway—another classic road trip experience—from my past anyway.

This was the first time in a long time we got together for no particular reason without extra tasks beyond shopping, visiting landmarks, eating out, going to church, hanging out at the house and backyard with their extended family, and watching movies. No agenda really. Had time to sit around and watch everyday living—even got to see both the dogs and the grandkids on a mission to do in tufts of decorative grass planted by my brother—the obsessive gardener/lawn guy—in apparent denial of the lifestyle he really lives. Anyone taking bets on how long they last?

Was good to leave town and do nothing out of the ordinary—well, other than practice patience while sitting on the highway and with our aforementioned motel neighbor.

I think I remember normal. Turns out, normal is good.