I have a problem. I am 100% addicted to going for rides. It is definitely not a new problem. I have been this way as long as I can remember. There are a lot of different vices out there. For some people its drinking or smoking or eating and so on and so on. For me, its driving. But in my defense, I was brought up that way. When I was younger and my parents would drive us up to Cedar or Salt Lake, it was like this amazing adventure that none of us wanted to end. Especially when there was car trouble and we'd end up at some weird truck stop for a few hours. It was so exciting. Or when we didn't have heat in the van and we'd all pile on the blankets. Or when Mom and Dad would wake us up at like 4am to leave on a long trip and we would drive as we watched the sun come up. Listening to Dad's soft rock radio stations and Mom passing out juice boxes. And then it just kept on going...
I remember when my older brother, Austin got his license and it was like this whole new, exciting world opened up for us kids. Austin, being the amazing older brother that he is, would pile all us kids in our giant van and drive us down to Dan's to get a 25 cent Shasta from the machine and he would drive us around town and we'd listen to his cool music like Weezer and Morrissey and we'd sit silently sipping out Shastas and feeling alive. It was like this little taste of freedom.
After Austin went away to college, the responsibility fell on Autumn. By then the Shasta machine was gone, so we often relied on Wally's to provide us with beverages for our quite frequent rides. With Autumn, the rides were always a little crazier. She'd drive faster and go further outside of town. She would always find weird dirt roads that we thought we'd probably get stuck on, but go down anyway. I remember when I got a little older and she and I would stay up all night talking and doing who knows what and then just as the sun would start to come up and I'd start getting sleepy, she would grab her camera and keys and we'd hop in the rhino (her little grey truck) and drive around taking pictures. Seems we would always head out toward the lake. And we usually had her cat stretched out on the dashboard and just in heaven.
Later on when I lived in Salt Lake with Austin, things were really no different. Lots and lots of drives all around that city. We'd stop at Harmons for a drink and be off to wherever. We always took turns showing each other new music we'd find. One of us would buy a new CD and we would put it in and drive until we'd listened to the whole thing through. Or when Austin would record a new song, he'd always put it on a cd and he would take me for a drive to show it to me. I'll never forget the day he bought the extended blue Weezer album with songs on it that we hadn't heard in years. He showed up at my apartment and said that we were going for a ride. I got in his little red truck and he turned it to the song 'Jaime' and I just started screaming. I don't think we changed out that cd for a good 3 months. Or the night we watched Donnie Darko for the first time and we spent all night driving around town trying to figure out what the crap that movie was about. hahaha I think we ended up at Dee's to eat breakfast as the sun was rising and still couldn't come up with a coherent idea. That's the thing with drives with Austin -- they are always serving a purpose. To listen to a new album, to have a discussion, to discover some new place, to think up some new ideas. Always an adventure. Even if it was during those couple winters when we couldn't afford to turn the heat on in our apartment and we would just drive to stay warm, cause at least his truck had heat.
Brad sure passed my driving test when we first started dating. He loved going for rides and he had lots of good music. I remember it was a total sign for me that we should get married when he turned on this one song. I had had the instrumental version of it on cd that a friend had made and I loved the song so much for years, but didn't know anything about it or who it was by and then after just a few weeks of dating, Brad turned on a song he said that he loved and it was MY song that I'd loved for years, but with the lyrics. He completed my song for me :) It was a big deal. Now, Brad is no where near as obsessed with going for drives as I am, but he does enjoy it. He thinks I am a little bit crazy. But I suppose its not every person that goes on a 11 hour car trip and then asks to go for a ride one hour after finally getting home. Yes. I've done that lots of times and Brad just looks at me like I'm nuts. It is just so therapeutic for me. If I'm stressed or upset, the best thing for me is to go for a drive. The moment the car starts up I can just feel the stress melt away. And I really do go through withdrawals if its been too long. Maybe I was a truck driver in another life...
But you know what is awesome? My boys love it too. I don't know if they were just born that way or if I somehow trained them by having them in the car all the time, but either way, I'm so grateful! They love looking out the windows and trying to count cars or spot tractors or planes. They love stopping and picking out a juice to drink on the way. They love getting out and taking pictures and hiking around new places. And most importantly, they love music. I always said that one day I would try out the kiddie music, but I really, really hate kiddie music. And then one day as I was buckling a 3 year old Clark into his car seat, he looks up at me and said, 'Mama can we listen to some rock and listen to it loud?' I realized there is just no need for it. My boys love my music. They each have their favorite songs and get so happy when they come on and they start yelling 'turn it up! turn it up!' Kalvin loves faster songs with lots of piano and Clark is all about the rock. He likes guitars and lots of drums. He is always trying to pick out he different instruments and tells me his favorite parts of songs. They truly and honestly love the Killers and Muse and fun. and are more familiar with Vicious Starfish than anything else. Its awesome.
Its my drug and I just always tell Brad that he needs to make sure my car is one with great gas mileage, cause I don't see anything changing. It is just too wonderful.