Today, my status on Facebook says, "RL is taking the kids over the river and through the woods...." That's right, we're at Grandma's house! The drive to my mom's house takes about three hours if you drive it non-stop, but it usually takes at least one stop with the kids. There are stretches of interstate and four-lane highway, but about half of the drive is on two-lane roads. Being from the "big city," a lot of the driving I do on a daily basis is on four-lane highways and interstate, going around 65 miles per hour. Either that or 35 miles per hour - but not a lot of variation otherwise. I think that these speeds have somehow become a part of me. If I don't pay attention to the speedometer, my surroundings seem to dictate my speed - and it's either around 35 or around 65 (or maybe just a few miles per hour higher....).
When we were about 20 minutes from my mom's house, on the last bit of "country roads," I found myself going 65 miles per hour where the speed limit was only 55. Normally, I'd probably slow down to about 60 - and later find that my speed had crept up to 65 again. But today - on this beautiful, sunny afternoon under the bluest SC skies that you can't find anywhere else (nope, not even in NC...) - I felt the need to slow down and go only 55 mph.
Maybe it was because for the first time in a long time, we hadn't left late. I didn't feel pushed to get here as fast as I could to make the most of our short visit (since this time we are staying FIVE days - yay!). Maybe it was because the kids hadn't started getting fussy - and I had even turned off the movies and turned down the music so they could enjoy this part of the trip along with me. Maybe the One who's really in the driver's seat was telling me something simple - something that I should adopt on a grander scale.
I was amazed by what I noticed when all of the distractions were gone. We looked at the cows, the pecan groves, the fields growing whatever grows best around here (I think it's soybeans). I noticed the beautiful green of the grass and trees. I also noticed how much quieter the "road noise" is when you go slower. I am sure I noticed it because I felt compelled to slow down - and even found myself crusing along below the speed limit at one point. That never happens.... Except for today - when the sky was blue, the grass was green, and I took a moment to slow down and enjoy it all.