I can see for miles and miles

Last weekend I went to Saskatchewan to visit with my grandma, as well as with my cousins, aunt, and my brother who moved from the big city to a small town and is now realizing that everyone on his block knows what he is doing at any given time. He has also nicely transitioned to small town life by describing his whereabouts using the Home Hardware as a landmark.

My kids stayed with my parents at the lake, and due to some awkward scheduling on my part this meant that I had to drive there to drop them off and then drive back home that same afternoon. I am usually the cheery passenger, not the responsible person, and so I was pretty exhausted when I got home. I rolled all the windows down and listened to music full blast, re-living some kind of lost youth in which I was speeding down the prairie highway with the wind in my hair, breathing in the scent of hay and diesel. Later I had to spend a lot of time brushing out the tangles. Next time I’m wearing a Jackie O scarf. Baby we were born to run.

I didn’t want to arrive at my grandmas looking like a tramp – tramps like us – and so when I picked up my rental car in the Regina airport I decorously put on the air conditioner. Knowing now what I didn’t know then, I would have foregone the air conditioner, being I spent the weekend shivering under Grandma’s high-powered cooling system, wishing I had brought wool socks, or at least pants, rather than the summery skirts and tank tops I did pack.

It’s important to learn from one’s mistakes. For example, last year when I went to visit Grandma I didn’t bring any CD’s for the two hour drive, and so I ended up listening to a lot of AC/DC and talk radio. This time, I brought some great mixed CD’s – I’m a mixed tape girl at heart, but more technologically advanced – but unfortunately the CD player was not working properly. All music was played at high-speed, which was extraordinarily agitating. Everybodywaskungfufightingthosekidswerefastaslightening. Happily, the car was equipped with satellite radio. Unhappily, there were only four stations available, and one of them was Country. The other three were a) Classic Vinyl, which heavily leaned toward Grateful Dead, b) 80s on 8, and c) Margaritaville, a station entirely devoted to Jimmy Buffett music. I have nothing at all against Jimmy Buffett and I like to Get Drunk and Screw as much as the next person, but an entire station? I wish I had a pencil thin moustache. The Boston Blackie kind. Three songs in and I was kind of done.

Of course I ended up listening to mostly 80s on 8, with detours into the other two – I took off my flip flops, stepped on a pop rock – and I noticed something I hadn’t before: saxophones were very popular in the 80s. On the way back to the Regina airport on Saturday morning, Classic Vinyl was playing a live recording of a Grateful Dead concert, Margaritaville was playing live recordings of Jimmy Buffett songs, including the witty and somewhat drunken repartee he had with the audience, and the 80s on 8 was doing a top forty countdown of music from 1986. Score! That was a pretty fun year for music, I must say. I used to listen to the countdowns on a popular music station back then, and I can remember staying awake until midnight to hear that the most popular song of 1986 was The Greatest Love of All. If I fail, if I succeed, at least I lived as I BELIEVED, no matter what they take from me they can’t take away MY DIG-NI-TYYYYYY.

It’s a good thing I’m not a long haul trucker. I would surely be insane from singing saxophone-infused songs over and over, and my hair would be terribly damaged from driving with the windows down. Also I would have to get a CB handle, and I just don’t know what that would be. How does one choose a CB handle? Or is it assigned to you when you get licensed to drive rigs? I don’t know. All I know is Rubber Duck and Big Ben are taken already.


  1. I don’t know how you choose a CB handle! My brother in law is a long-ish haul trucker though and I could ask him. My handle would be La Loca! Maybe!

    I kind of love flipping stations and getting weird reception on road trips. But I agree with you on Margaritaville. That’s enough, Jimmy Buffet.

  2. CD player? Radio stations? Wha — ?? For roadtrips, I don’t care what the kids pack or forget to pack so long as everyone has their ipods and headphones. I love audiobooks!

Leave a Reply