In a few weeks my family and I will be headed out for another road-trip. Our travel will take us from Columbia, Maryland to Niles, Michigan. That is approximately a 610 mile trip which, with two young children, translates into about a twelve hour trip that we will do in one drive strait through.
It is a long trip and except for about two to three hours spent in the mountains of western Maryland and Pennsylvania, the scenery is pretty bland. All in all, it can be a very long trip but… I look forward to these road trips with my family because of the conversations and other creative ways we spend our time together in the car, like playing “I Spy” or trying to locate as many different state license plates as possible (with bonus points for spotting a Canadian plate).
But according to what the powers that be are saying, we should be miserably board out of our minds and unhappy without having a DVD player to go along with the latest techno-gadget to occupy our individual minds. This includes having a Volkswagen equipped with autonet wifi, all for the fee of $29 (another “necessary” expense added to the budget). This came to my attention the other day when I saw a commercial depicting a family on a seemingly long road-trip, in need of the wifi service so that mom could work on her PC while the each child played own their own tablets to entertain their otherwise boredom.
This is nothing short of capitalistic tyranny! It is the manufacturer deceiving us into believing that our time together will only be enjoyed with their product to pacify our miserable existence. Bull****! I hope I have not offended you as I do not normally use such expression but I can think of nothing else in the American-English vernacular to accurately call this for what it is. The only party who benefits from this capitalistic tyranny is the manufacture. But at what expense?
Quality only takes place within the quantity!
Growing up, my family would make regular road trips from Indiana to Arkansas which also was another long drive lacking in scenic beauty. But I have many great memories of those trips. They are trips chalked full of memories made with my father, with my mother, with my brothers and sisters. I cherish them even more since my father and one of my brothers is now deceased. Of course, in those days it was easier to create such memories because there was not any such thing as personal DVD players and tablets. Radio walk-mans (you’re getting old if you remember what those are) were not even a hot commodity yet. So we had a lot of time to talk, laugh, tell stories, play games, etc… I have come to believe that we were able to make great memories because the time we spent together was time we spent with each other.
We certainly do not need a road-trip to make the space and time necessary for creating lasting memories and enjoyable times. It just so happens that traveling down the express-way in a car happens to be a great place for such family time because they create the quantity of time necessary for the quality time to emerge. The reason for this is simple: quality happens within the quantity. So whether a ten-hour trip an hour, remember: there is not any movie or activity online so important that it is worth sacrificing time spent together as a family with each other!
So if you are planning a road-trip during the holidays or any other season, give you and your family the great gift of time spent together as a family with each other. Tell stories, play games, sing a song, pray together, talk about God, life and what really matters together…and, of course, drive safely.