This was the trip that didn’t stop. At 6:00 am Thelma and Louise climbed into the car for our long trip home. We were joined by Susabelle, our GPS navigator. In her voice we naively put our trust to guide us on our trip from Hilton Head to Rochester. She started out sweetly,
Start out on Palmetto Avenue and go .4 miles. Turn right. Your estimated time of arrival in Rochester, NY is 8:37 pm.
Wow, that is great, I thought. This trip will be a breeze. Our Susabelle took us on a wild and crazy trip. Somehow we ended up in Washington D.C. traffic. She didn’t guide us in that direction on the way down, but on the way up north we snarled through 15 lane highways and inched along as we made our way from Virginia to Maryland.
Her pleasant voice began to grate as she droned, directing us to places we least expected. She took us the highway route up through Maryland and then came Pennsylvania. Did you realize there are no expressways that go from east to west in Pennsylvania? Or at least Susabelle doesn’t know about them. We traveled through cities, along two lane roads, stopping at traffic lights. We drove through Coopertown, home of Little League Baseball, through numerous college towns and some unrecognized cities.
Slowly but surely our ETA elongated. Our 8:37 arrival time turned to a 9:30 arrival time then to an 11:00 arrival time—to the actual time of 11:53.
Thelma and Louise, we jostled our words in a jovial way throughout the experience. Tired but true, we let little things slide by…aiming any frustration we might have had about the long travel toward our guide, Susabelle.
Where is she taking us?
Can you shut her up? I know my way now…
The car fell silent. We continued our travels sans Susabelle and were greeted as we entered New York by a full-blown snowstorm. Straining to see through the snow, we inched our way home. At 11:53 Thelma and Louise, we parted ways, with my leg of the trip being another 15 minutes till arrival at my home. I travelled on 390 toward my home when I saw a car with its lights facing me in the wrong direction on the highway.
Oh my. What is happening there? Should I call 911? Is that car all right?
I watched as the car turned in the right direction and I proceeded to go on my way, relieved for the driver…Until, lights started flashing and I knew my 18 hour trip was going to be extended that much longer.
Officer, can you tell me why you pulled me over? I asked as it was now pushing 12:30.
Ma’am, can you give me your registration and driver’s license?
I complied, wishing only to end the trip that was unending. Fifteen minutes later, with ticket in hand, due to a burnt out headline, frustrated, Thelma continued to head home.
Upon arrival a text came from Louise…
Good night, Thelma. I love you!!
Umm. Guess who got a friggin ticket, Louise. I just got home.
For what?!?!?! Surely not for speeding.
And it began…All of the pent up feelings toward our drive…toward our guide, Susabelle, boiled over in waves of laughter.
I only had one headlight. It was so unnecessary. No! Not speeding.
Well, I could have guessed that. You are not a fast driver. Why do you think we got home so late?! I cannot stop laughing. Sorry. Sorry you got the ticket! Good thing he didn’t see you doing that clever maneuver at the gas station!
There was surely a ticket in there somewhere… Susabelle. Where is she when you need her?
She would only lead us into oblivion. Thanks.
My stomach hurts.
I am howling, just so you know.
I know. You need some sleep.
I am wired. I think it is the dizziness of the back and forth motion when you are driving.
Not quite whiplash. Just a subtle jerking. Just to keep me on my toes…And car sick.
Stop! I can’t stop laughing.
We were gone only seventy-two hours. We went and found a home sweet hut. It was a great trip. Crazy. Good. Crazy good. Thank goodness we are finally home sweet home.
Good night, Louise.
I am grateful for our hosts. A big thank you to Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy and Anna from Two Writing Teachers for dedicating space and time for teachers and teachers of literacy to come together to share ideas, practice and life experience.