Every once in awhile I think it’s important to share my lessons learned with anyone who wants to save themselves from actually having to figure these things out on their own. It’s the end of July and I am fried. (July 24th – 30th 2017).
Allow me to explain.
Contrary to popular belief, North East Michigan has “Summer” like everywhere else. Sometimes it is just a temperature thing. Other times the humidity kicks in with the high temperatures. And naturally there are days of lower temperatures and high humidity. This past week was the perfect storm of high temperatures plus humidity. For me, this means ‘stay inside with the air conditioner’.
I am heat sensitive. I get nauseous and zapped of any energy I might have had prior to stepping outside. This situation will eventually become a Migraine. But that’s nothing new. I just wanted to offer some background information for you.
So, I already said it was mostly miserable outside (all week). My attempts to find some respite were genuine…
When in the vehicle I wore dark sunglasses 😎. However, it is important to remove the sunglasses when going inside a bank. Talk about awkward. Everyone gets all quiet and tense -especially if it’s not a branch you regularly use. I swear I do not have any connection to the unabomber. I just have a headache.
Next, I have found that grocery shopping and really any kind of shopping can be done in gas stations. (Although all gas stations are not created equal. The good one’s are out there!) You can get lottery tickets, cappuccino, hoodies, chips, sandwiches, booze, home decor and jewelry all in one place. So if you have forgotten something-like deodorant or phone charging cables, stop by the gas station with a store. You will be pleasantly surprised.
My husband and I have decided that driving while eating is a mess just waiting to happen. So when we were en route to the various appointments this past week, we would choose a place with a dining area. We have also determined that fast food meals cost as much as restaurant meals. Therefore we usually aim for ‘real’ food establishments. (I don’t want to get in trouble for last epiphany, you know what I mean.). If I order a chicken sandwich, I want to be able to recognize the chicken.
Inside the vehicle
The ability to determine a comfortable air temperature for two or more people is tricky. It takes skill. Moving the vents is almost always the best thing in these circumstances. It’s bad if the car is too hot/cold for all. In this case, all vents were on me. I was in heaven.
Being where we are we can tap into the local stations. What happens though when we are out of range? This is where Playlists come in. Prior to hand held devices, which play whatever you have stored in them, there were 8Tracks, Cassettes and Compact Discs. All of which were based on one band. Luckily the Playlist is usually a unique or eclectic mix of songs, podcasts, comedy or whatever. So, whomever is in charge of the music needs to be attentive to others’ likes/dislikes.
When booking a hotel ahead of time that is part of a national chain, be certain to notice which one you chose. Why there are two Red Roof Hotels within two miles of each other is beyond me. That situation is just begging for customer chaos. Threatening the desk clerk of the hotel you thought you booked, but didn’t, is unacceptable. You have to laugh off the confusion and pray that the one you didn’t book has availability and the one you accidentally booked (up the road a bit) is flexible with canceling. Otherwise driving those two miles, after finding out about the mix up, can be very uncomfortable. (I think Best Westerns do it too -have more than one in a small town.)
What to bring.
Well it was just an overnight visit so I kept it simple. At least that’s what I thought I did. I had my paperwork, meds, purse, pillow, top and skivvies. No problem. My husband asked if I had everything (my travel bag was lighter than usual). One bag packing… that was my goal. He seemed skeptical.
I was proud of myself… until approximately 90 minutes into the three hour drive. Now, when the driver is on the road with comfortable atmosphere and the passenger gasps and starts looking around the car and bag packed next to him; he goes on full alert. What did he miss???? An animal in the ditch? A speed trap by local law enforcement? Wrong direction? (These are just the things I assume he was trying to figure out… ).
I had to admit (out loud) that I forgot a ton of stuff and he rolled his eyes.
I had forgotten to pack deodorant, hair spray, pajamas, book, flat iron, shampoo, lotion, lip gloss and mascara. Good ol’ gas station store is going to save me. Well I got the deodorant, hairspray and lotion at least. I even got him a lottery ticket and a box of his favorite candy. (He didn’t share any of his candy with me. Not one bit. Hmph.).
So bring it all.
Don’t try to stuff your personal maintenance necessities into one bag. If you need two, take two. There is no shame in needing tools when being presentable. My husband was muttering “I thought it was too easy. You with one bag… should have known. Ha!”
Do not poke the bear.
I was bored. We still had to go back home. Another three – four hours in the car within twelve hours. I was getting car sick and thought that if I could focus on something else, my gag reflex would settle down. I swear my husband can read my mind. Out of the side of his mouth without even looking at me, he said, “Do not even think I will put up with your need to entertain yourself at my expense. I will pull over and leave you wherever you land.”
This past week put over 800 miles on my Explorer with my husband at the helm. The different appointments were all over the state from Ann Arbor to Hale with stops along the way. He got us everywhere safely and didn’t leave me anywhere (bonus*).
I count my blessings💫 at times like these. We have a reliable vehicle, money for gas/hotel/food, and each other. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we don’t. We are comfortable together and have perhaps learned something new about each other before the day is done. 💞