Peace and the Long Car Journey

Car Journey to Scotland-

One of my hopes and fears about this trip had to do with the slight lack of electronic entertainment for my teenagers.  It wasn’t a total lack as we have wi-fi access in the house we are staying at in Largs but there has been no mention of wi-fi in our accommodation on the Isle of Eigg.  Personally, I have been looking forward to my books and doing some exploring but I was bracing myself in fear of the teenage grumbling that may occur.  However, besides the possible grumbling about the lack of wi-fi, I was most especially worried about the actual road trip there. You know how it is…five people in one car, cramped, the youngest being just fifteen and me charged with the responsibility of maintaining peace for the sake of the sole driver (my husband).

We loaded our car on Saturday morning and prayed together for the journey.  I then suggested to the family that we all look for ways to make each other happy on this trip.  Jadzia had been experiencing some pain in one of her legs so I offered to switch seats with her partway through the journey so she can sit in the front seat.  Then, my son Brandon spoke to both his sisters and suggested switching seats throughout the journey so no one had to sit in the middle for very long.

All three of my teenagers have ipods.  Initially, it had taken me a while to approve of ipods.  I like music but I am conscious of the danger one can be in of not being able to hear the sounds of your environment.  I also felt it to be a bit rude as the person with the ipod is tuning everyone else out…..but it helps keep the peace during long car journeys.

Anyhow…after some trepidation and a bit of guilt, I decided to download Spotify on my phone.  I told myself it would be for just this one time and for a small part of the journey and it would give me a chance to choose my own music without complaints from anyone else.

So when I switched to the back seat, I began my ‘short time’ of self-indulgence.  With the panoramic sun-roof open, I gazed at the layers of cloud formations while enjoying some Scottish folk music.

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Then I gazed at the views from the passenger window whilst listening to folk-rock music of the 60’s and 70’s.  I gazed out the window at the changing terrain, the hills of Cumbria,

the farmlands dotted with sheep and cows and then back through the sun-roof at the clouds again and discovered I still had some imagination left at my age after all.  In the end, I sacrificially volunteered to remain in the back seat, even sitting in the middle seat at times.  Jadzia kept Jim entertained with lively, bubbly discourse and I would at times lower the music and join in—but not too often.  I am embarrassed to admit that I really loved being ‘plugged in’.  I listened to classic rock, Indi-folk, traditional Scottish and folk-rock and no-one complained except when Brianna told me sternly to “stop” dancing in the car. To keep the peace I remained still after that but with the sad realization that my youngest didn’t understand what ‘coolness’ really is because for several hours I allowed the music to take me back.  I was once again sixteen years of age listening to Janis Joplin, Jethro Tull and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.

The journey couldn’t have gone any better.  Everyone good as gold, happy and thoughtful towards one another. We arrived at Largs tired but content.

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