Norman Rockwell is dead

Three friends and I decided we’d drive from LA to Denver for Christmas. We had grand ideas of a road trip Norman Rockwell style. We dreamed of beautiful scenary, great conversation, Christmas music that would be just perfect for the occassion. We each had prepared ourselves for the treck. And we were ready and excited. We knew we had a long journey ahead, but our idea of the journey was practically perfect in every way.

I drove to pick them up from work in one of the biggest rain storms in LA history. This did not deter us from what was to come. A few weeks earlier my radio had just up and quit working and there was no way to play music, this too did not deter us from a positive attitude and anticipation about the journey ahead.

We sang Christmas carols, people fell asleep and after a few hours in LA rain soaked traffic the romantic ideal of a Norman Rockwell style road trip to Denver vanished into thin air. I desparately tried to save the mood, thinking to my self, “We can still have a good time, we simply have to create it our selves!”  But this was to no avail.  Each of us was tired, had had long weeks and we knew the trip ahead was a LONG one.

One by one individuals fell asleep in the car. I was left with nothing but the sound of the tires on the pavement, the rhythmic motion of the windshield wiper blades across the windshield and the rain.

Our once romantic idea of the journey was a delusion, now far from reality.  We really had no idea how far. It was at 2:30 in the morning when all of the sudden a warning came on that I’d never seen before. In all red capital letters my car seemed to scream at me STOP PULL OVER ENGINE! STOP PULL OVER ENGINE! The sounds of rain were far gone by now and had now been replaced with the sounds of metal rubbing against one another!

Now what were we to do?

As I look back at this part of the journey and I can so relate to it personally. Sometimes life feels like a road trip gone bad. The unexpected continued to ruin the ideal of the journey in our minds and the road trip soon lost its appeal. I know I do this with life. I have a grand idea of what an experience will be and when it is met with adversity and the stuff of life I want to retreat, call it quits and take the next flight out of town.

But if I had taken the next flight out of Cedar City, Utah I would have missed out!

When your journey takes you to unexpected places what do you? Have you ever experienced a journey gone bad?

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