We spent the long holiday weekend in Iowa, visiting my sister and her kids. As a kid, I came to love being on the road, roaming the country with my family in the various campers we owned over the years. We travelled year-round as schedules allowed, but the summer trips to the farms and fields of Nebraska are deeply etched in my mind. On into my adult years, some of my greatest memories are found out on the road, and I can only hope our children will grow to share this love of road trips.
The weekend was filled with enjoying my sister's plot of land, down a gravel road in the heart of farm country. In the space of those acres we found all the excitement we needed -- chickens to play with, ripe berries for picking and fields to explore.
Among the grasses, the kids caught toads, leopard frogs and garter snakes (oh, I had forgotten the smell of their musk on little hands).
We headed into town for the Fourth of July celebrations, a carnival and parade as only a small town can do 'em.
The space and stillness in the country are a quiet contrast to the suburbs that surround us at home, offering an easiness and pace that was much welcomed. Back on the road, we made it home in time for dinner with family. The kids splashed and played, unwinding from all the car time before taking in the fireworks.
The journey, as I try to remember in so much of our days, is just as full of potential as the destination. Our route to Iowa is well known now, with familiar landmarks and stops along the way. The time in the car, spent together, feels like such good, quality time, with the stories and scheming and laughter that take place above those turning wheels.
It is my hope that these babes of ours are developing a similar love of the open road, a fondness for the sights along the way and an appreciation for all the miles that pass between their destinations.