It’s a line I borrowed from someone else, but it’s true.
Abilene, Texas is centrally-located — it’s right in the middle of nowhere!
And that’s why I often find myself in the car and moving down the road toward a meeting or a conference or a consultation. Even though we have airline service here, most of the places I need to go are driving destinations. For by the time you show up an hour or so early for your flight, fly to Dallas, then connect to another flight and/or get a rental car, you can just about drive where you’re going.
My general rule is drive if it’s less than seven hours. For Texas destinations, that puts El Paso, Brownsville, and a few eastern boundary cities outside my reach. But, come to think of it, I usually drive to those places, too.
Most of my trips are 3-5 hours, one way. And I’ve been known to make those in a single day, round-trip. Like my trip to San Antonio a few weeks ago for a four hour meeting. Four hours down, four hours there, four hours back. I’ll make a similar trip tomorrow to Austin. The meeting could be as long as six hours. And, I’ll call my son, Justin, just as it ends to see if he can meet me for a visit over coffee or a coke, before I head home. So tomorrow could be 16 hours of road trip action from the time I open the garage door until I put it down.
With cell phone coverage being what it is, there are only rare moments when I will be unavailable. I’ll talk to my office once or twice. And I plan to call the West Coast late in the day to discuss details on a training session that will be scheduled next fall. Of course, there’s also the call to a prospective student that i didn’t work in last Friday. I’ll fit it in between Brownwood and Lampasas tomorrow morning.
Tomorrow’s trip will start off a little easier than the San Antonio trip. Peet’s Coffee should be just opening as I’m making my way out of town. By the time I reach Cross Plains, I will be one with a medium Major Dickinson brew. And about that time, the coffee will be signaling its desire to become separate again.
With travel mercies, I’ll be home at this time tomorrow. Weary from the road. Wondering how far behind I’ll be for missing a day at the office.
Yet, as glamorous as all that sounds, there’s something comfortable about a road trip. A definite place to go, with a purpose for being there, and a home coming to look forward to.
A good portion of life doesn’t always seem that comfortable. Not everything is so definite. And for some folks, coming home doesn’t hold that much promise. But as I think more and more about why I’m here, the more every day seems like a road trip. A lot of territory to be covered, things to do, and a promise of home.