Last night I saw the Chevrolet commercial depicting small kids watching movies in the backseat of the car because it has Wifi. I am saddened that kids spend so much of their time watching movies and missing everything going on around them in the real world.
Ironically, I was watching television while judging people watching television, but I guess most judgment is ironic for the same reason.
The days of summer used to mean Sunday drives . . .
I recall those days when the family would pile up in the car and drive anywhere to escape the heat. Most of us didn’t all have air conditioning in our homes, which is part of the reason our ozone layer was a little thicker in those days.
Getting in our car for a weekend drive meant burning the backs of our legs on vinyl seats, but that would be traded any day for a window seat. However, three kids meant that one was stuck on the “hump” seat with no window, which ensured a fight before we ever left the driveway.
Once dad hit the road and picked up speed, the warm wind would come through the car and blow our hair like crazy, which always made us laugh.
We would stick our heads out of the window like dogs, until mother would remind us of the unfortunate guy who was decapitated doing that very thing . . . a story I’m pretty sure she concocted to prevent tangles in our hair.
The “woosh-woosh” sound created by passing cars became our lullaby. With no radio, no nagging GPS buddy, and certainly no movies, each of us would be left to our thoughts.
And that’s where I would create my best adventures.
Windows down also meant the possibility of great laughter. . .
I remember the time I was coming home from church in the car with my best friend. We had stopped at a stoplight where the road dipped directly in front of us. The dip in the road was filled with muddy water accumulated from the rain the night before. We all had our windows down, enjoying the sunshine of a new day.
Just as the light turned green, a car came flying by to our right and hit that water. My best friend’s dad had his window down, and we heard the splash. He slowly turned around to look at us, muddy water streaming down his face and dripping off the collar of his dress shirt. We were first silent, but when he laughed, we all laughed. For the rest of the day.
Then there was the time a bee flew in the car window, and mother opened the car door and rolled out before my dad came to a full stop.
Or the time a neighbor spit out the front window, only to have it come back in the back window and land on my brother.
Okay, so it might not sound like all that much fun . . . but it was.
If life is seeming a little bit dull, or if you’re tired of having your kids brains put on autopilot as they watch the same movie over and over again, try this . . .
Go for a drive and roll down your windows.
Listen to the sounds. Yes, even the unmuffled guy who seems to stay beside you for twenty miles.
Look not just at nature but for nature. I saw a bald eagle this morning as I searched the skies. Perhaps I should have been looking at the road.
People watch. Create stories in your mind.
And bring a really good brush, because when it’s all over your hair will look like crap.