Monday, June 27, 2011


The girls and I are driving north to Oregon to visit my sister and her family; husband will fly up to meet us. We are staying over in the Bay Area en route and back. Do the math: the three of us in a Honda Civic for at least four 8-hour stretches. I don't completely mind road trips, but I'd rather be the passenger than driver. When I am driving, particularly on long stretches, I take my and my passengers' mortality seriously. As if we are headed into the Death Star in a TIE Fighter, I feel very responsible for (and not completely confident about) getting us back alive.

Have I mentioned that I am really good at worrying?

I thought maybe if I enumerate my fears I could ceremoniously cyber-burn them prior to departure and thereby purge the phobias:

1. Fear of freeway work that necessitates those concrete barriers which narrow the lane and make me nervous car will scrape along the side.
2. Fear of having heart attack while driving in the middle of nowhere (like near Fresno, with only cows around).
3. Fear of dog dying while we are gone.
4. Fear of tire blowout.
5. Fear of snacks running out in the first hour.
6. Fear of getting lost.
7. Fear of having to go to the bathroom every hour (very possible reality).
8. Fear of passing trucks.
9. Fear of daughters falling out of car.
10. Fear of foot getting stuck on accelerator or not being able to brake on time.

Obviously the Mother Fear is crashing of any kind. And I am most fearful of causing a cataclysm myself, not of other crazies on the road. Gee, I know you are all excited to jump in the car with me now!


Here we are in Oakland, safe and sound but not so triumphant. The girls were great, but I managed to psyche myself out on The Grapevine...tunnel vision, mild anxiety attack...I fantasized about pulling over and refusing to drive any further, toddler-tantrum style. People, I had to pass a HOUSE (well, half a house) being hauled in high winds. The soul-sucking landscape added to my angst.

I pulled it together, however; rallied (Baja Fresh chicken taco helped), and we made it in good time.

But I got out of the car and priced airline and Amtrak tickets between here and Portland.

Stay tuned.


Kate said...

This must be ingrained in our DNA because I pretty much have the same fears. :-) Glad you will be here by plane.

fer said...

Planes, trains, and automobiles!

Heather PC said...

Portland is only a few hours from here! Would you like us to drive down and say hello? We could play in a park or have lunch together or chase kids up and down the aisles of Powell's. I don't want to take away from quality family time, so feel free to say no. But it's summer, and the boys and I are up for a bit of an adventure if you are! Sorry about your road anxiety...sucky!

Lindsey N said...

This probably will only intensify your anxiety more....but your post reminded me of negrete family car and grape vine adventures. On every trip, my dad ALWAYS said "remember that movie with kiefer sutherland and sandra bullock as newlyweds on a road trip and they stop at a gas station and she gets kidnapped."...EVERY TIME! For the first couple of years, I preferred that we never stopped! oh, the joys of being a cop's kid!