Sometimes you can find sweet bliss in the most unassuming places. Having just returned from two weeks of taking in some of the most beautiful landscapes this country has to offer, it’s a pleasant surprise when you find one of those “moments” so close to home.
I drove to Hull St. a few nights ago to meet my daughter and her husband for dinner. By the time we finished up, evening traffic on Hull St was still pretty heavy, so I opted for a back road route to return home. I’ve been through this rural path many times so it wasn’t like a new discovery, but a combination of factors fell into place to make this time exquisite.
The route through the Winterpock area of Chesterfield County is about 30-40 miles to my home. The sun had just dipped past the horizon and the dusky blue and purple colors still hung in the sky. The temp was about 76 degrees with a gentle breeze blowing, and best of all there was little to no traffic.
Both Riverway Drive and River Road are two lane ribbons of smooth asphalt that twist and roll across the crop fields and pastures of southern Chesterfield County, and gliding across them that evening was sweet top-down bliss.
I was relishing this drive so much that at one stop sign, I shut off the music and folded down the windscreen, and the ride from there home was as though the breeze was laced with some kind of drug. The kind of natural high only a vehicle like Miss Ladyhawke can provide.
This kind of experience has to be stress relief at its best. I am now fully convinced this car is adding years to my life. These are the simple moments to be savored.
More and more I begin to understand clearly some of the emotions attached to this phenomenon referred to as “mid-life crisis.” Maybe for some the realization of going over 40 or 50 is a crushing blow to their sense of mortality, and suddenly they feel like they must live as they never have before.
I count myself quite fortunate in the fact that this time in my life has been filled with some of the best experiences I have known. At 42 years old (all of you Douglas Adams fans will know the significance of that number) I met my present wife, and it had only been about year since I had split with my first wife, so life was definitely in transition. Thankfully, we had made the best out of a tough situation by keeping things civilized and amicable because you just don’t throw 18 years and two almost grown children out of the window.
I have expounded more than once about how Trish has changed my life in so many ways, but besides her enlightening me to the value of a vacation; I have found other simple pleasures with her as well. She loves to travel and shoot photographs, and she has been very happy to have me as full time chauffeur. This arrangement has been a huge source of enjoyment for me since I relish the driving experience as a whole, but I have found that pleasure is still there if it is only as simple as driving out to dinner.
Ever since I have been bitten by the convertible bug, our mutual enjoyment of driving/riding has taken on a new dimension. She takes in the wide open view of the world passing by, and I can’t get enough of watching her revel in those moments.
I suppose it would be a fitting analogy to say that an open top car has opened up my life as well, and if this is a mid-life crisis then I want to bottle it and save it forever.
Now some of the most recent cherished memories have involved the two things that in concert generate pure joy. My darling wife and the freedom she gives me to own a “mid-life Chrysler.” I know I would still love cars if she hadn’t found me, but the experience wouldn’t be the same without her.
I love you Sweetie! (this means you, Trish!)
My Hunny and “Sunny”
The “Cruiser to Paradise”
My Bride and Miss Ladyhawke