jour ∙ ney – \ˈjər-nē\
: the act of traveling from one place to another
: a process of changing and developing over a period of time
: my car
: undertake a journey or trip
: travel upon or across
Financially savvy folks save to pay hard cash for a new (or newer) car. That’s not us. We paid our cash plus interest faithfully every month for five years and finally ripped out that last coupon. I’m not interested in a new car or a new car payment any time soon.
Although soon may come sooner than we think since my husband continues to drive his 1997 Saturn with its 508,000 miles. He’s been faithful with routine maintenance, repairs and replacements. In fact, our mechanic inserted a “new” 1996 engine four or five years ago. My husband’s driven that car the length and breadth of Michigan several times over–not with me, though, if I can help it. It’s like riding in a tuna can. I’ve dislodged the wires that connect his added-on satellite radio numerous times when I’ve squeezed into the passenger seat. I refuse to travel in it to any company function and chance having to park next to a silver Lexus.
My 2009 silver Dodge Journey embarrasses me less, and it’s much easier to disembark from it in a formal dress and heels.
When we shopped for a new car, one major requirement was that it have rear space to carry all the baggage we normally take on a trip. It also needed to have enough room to house a harp I’d recently purchased. I planned to drive three hours round-trip every other week to take lessons and perhaps, when (and if) I got good enough, to travel around and play it therapeutically.
In order to keep the cost down, we refused “luxuries” such as power seats, a backup camera, XM radio, DVD players, built-in navigation, or smart keys. We did, however, spring for a sun roof so I could have some semblance of a convertible life during the few months in Michigan where top-down travel is even feasible.
Now we wish we’d gotten at least the camera to see what dangers might lurk when we travel in reverse. And maybe leather upholstery for easy clean-up. Of course, five years ago, dogs weren’t on our radar. Now considering how these two have munched their way through our leather furniture, it turns out fabric, despite the stains, may have been the better choice. Who knew?
My mom fell three years ago this month.
The next three months after that were quite a journey, and I journaled through them here on this blog. I traveled many miles back and forth in my Journey and in my journey. The last five weeks of Mom’s life, my sister, dad and I camped out in the hospice home overlooking the bay that led to Lake Michigan. I took my harp and “noodled” notes and plunked out “Amazing Grace.” When my mom went Home, I turned around and went home.
I’ve since sold the harp. I may get another one someday. Or maybe my harp-playing dreams were just a detour on the way to my final destination.
During those months, I didn’t skimp on whatever it cost to travel that road. And it was during that journey, I discovered more about where I’ve been and where I’m going. And re-learned that no matter where I am, my real journey is internal.
Amazing Grace has purchased an all-expenses-paid ticket to ride, and it alone will carry me Home.
What journey are you on today?
Word Count: 560
In the stillness,
Linking with Charity
And with Holley
And with Jennifer
Also sharing with Kelli’s Unforced Rhythms community.