~ Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~
I don't think I ever shared the details of our Epic Road Trip to Joplin at the beginning of the month. "Epic" because its a freaking long drive to make in one day with 4 kids and no spouse. So, the children range in age from 10-22, but I still felt the weight of responsiblity for all that precious cargo!
We always drive past Paducah, Ky, but we've never stopped there, unless it was on the side of the road to get gas or fast food. After leaving at 5 a.m., Paducah was in the perfect spot for lunch which we had brought in a cooler.
I had no idea what a pretty, old town it is! We parked downtown, after turning around in the parking lot of the National Quilt Museum, and walked to the riverfront for lunch. Their flood wall is very picturesque! The kids screamed in dismay at the quilt museum, and were relieved that we didn't go in, but I hear it's amazing and the children would have loved it. Next time, dudes.
Even the doorknobs downtown are pretty! We had fun looking through a couple of antique and consignments shops before getting back on the road---and seriously lost. Well, not lost, but definitely more on picturesque back roads that Google Maps recommends than on the interstate!
My sister's adopted Shih Tzu, Tucker, who is so sweet and grateful to have been saved, and loves her so much that he stays at her feet when it's past his bedtime. He's trying to stay awake with everyone else, but he keeps falling asleep like a toddler, instead of just going to bed.
The joy of iphones is that they can be used to find out if there are any recommended Diners, Drive-ins, or Dives on the route so you can avoid the tedium of which fast-food chain to stop at on the exit!
Driving in major cities, downtown, is not my favorite thing to do, but that's exactly what happened when we chose Arnold's as our destination in Nashville. There was a little consignment shop next door that we had some fun in afterwards! The food was southern, homestyle. There was a line all the way to the door. And the place was packed the whole time we were there, and I overheard that it's like that all day long, 7 days a week.
Amazingly enough, even with that longer-than-expected detour and lunch and shopping, we still made it home in excellent time! Can I just say, wow, the folks in Nashville were nice. Everyone we spoke to was so friendly!
This is what children do in the car: the 10 yo sits quietly in the back playing with whatever is handy, and listening to an ipod because any type of reading makes her sick. Though she and Pip did do some travel-schooling when he sat back there and did the reading aloud.
The 22 yo reads YA fiction to see if it's appropriate for the Summer Reading List for her school. Eats babybel cheeses, and photographs them, too.
The 13 yo takes the babybel wax and carefully sculpts a creepy creature which, in the end, looks a little too devilish for me.
The 16 yo work constantly on his AP World History project which involved finding a million-and-one facts to put on this chart. Here is his finally-finished project. I think 26+ hours in the car was a big boost in his productivity!
What did I do, you ask? I drove. And drove. And drove. There weren't many requests from the other drivers to take over as they had other things to occupy their time. And I listened to lots of my favorite Catholic podcasts from SQPN.