"I thought it would be fun to take you along on my drive into work today. We can chat about things while making the 40 minute trek (sigh)...and besides, we haven't visited in quite a while. Oh, sorry, move those mittens and that soccer ball....geez, I guess I should have cleaned out the car first. (shoving the rest of the kids stuff into the back seat with B-man) Bleecker...ok, say a quick hello and we'll be on our way - no licking though. It's really sunny today - did you bring your shades? Good." (pushing garage door button, door opening slowly)
"So, how you been? It's kind of strange to be driving to work without anyone - well, except for you and Bleecker. Usually it's us with the kids, going to school, leaving in the still-darkened-dead-of-winter and getting to work by 8:30am. Today Doug told me to sleep in and make up for the past few sleepless nights. He took the kids to school and everything. I'm glad you came along though - kind of makes today 'extra special'. Different. Out of the ordinary. A little change is good, right?"
"The weather is so strange lately, don't you think? I mean, one minute it's snowy and blowy and the next it's like a nuclear summer day! Just as long as the roads stay pretty clear I could care less what the weather does, until spring that is. I'm SO ready for the flowers to come out, but not too soon or the final frosts will ruin all the blossoms."
"Wow! We're at the toll road already!" (taking ticket from freezing-toll-road-worker, but she's smiling none-the-less)
"Here's where I have to decide, each morning if it's East or West that I want to go. Doesn't Chicago sound so inviting? Maybe do a little window shopping and then grab some hot chocolate down by the skating rink?"(adjusting visor to block the sun)
"Well, every morning it's East - toward Ohio. I think it's been at least three months since I've taken the route to Chicago...maybe soon though." (speeding up to get off the ramp and merging into toll road traffic)
"Oh, don't mind Bleecker. He usually sits like this if it's just Doug or I in the car with him. Doesn't happen very often, but he prefers to be close to his humans." (Bleecker lets out one of his deep, doggy sighs) "I think Bleecker has been sensing some of the things going on lately. He knows that something is up and just doesn't want to be left out of the loop. I think he just likes to know that he's not alone. I guess we humans do too."
"It's a long road ahead. You up for that? Sometimes the road seems so boring because it's straight and bare on both sides, but there are always things to keep me alert while driving..."
"...like the ever-present 'rules of the road'. Nearly every morning I see at least one car that is either in the ditch or has been stopped by a cop. Why is it that people have to bend and break the rules to get ahead? It's not like doing that won't catch up with you - I guess we all think we can get away with some things and sometimes we get caught. I've never gotten a ticket before - bet you didn't know that. Maybe that's one of the 7 things I should include in that thingy on my blog since Andrea 'tagged' me. Anyway, I know I'm keeping a close eye on my end of things."
"Do you ever play car games with your kids? Sometimes I even find myself doing it if I'm in the car alone running to the store, or if it's just Doug and I. Remember 'car bingo'? I think the best part about that game was when you were down to ONE THING that stood in the way of you winning the game. It seemed like it would NEVER come along you'd get tired of looking for it or forget what you were even looking for. When we played the ABC car game it was usually the letter V I couldn't find and in the bingo game it was always some obscure sign that hardly ever shows up - like that one where it shows a semi on a steep incline or a deer crossing or something."
"I think that it would be great if in life there were 'signs' alongside the road for everyone. You know, like, 'WARNING: Falling Rocks!' or maybe 'Watch for ice on bridge'. Things like that so that we know what to expect up ahead. You think somethings like 'Stop' and 'Go' are obvious, but even those slip by occasionally and we run a red light - metaphorically speaking - in our life. Ohhhh...sorry....I'm getting to philosophical..."
"Now THERE'S a sign that doesn't take a doctor, a notepad and a leather couch to figure out! I could SO use a venti latte right now! No cash though - ANDDDD on a budget. Besides, it can't hurt to avoid the caffeine a little since I've been pretty jumpy lately as it is." (fingers tapping on the steering wheel absent-mindedly)
(pulling up to the toll booth and getting the ticket out from above the visor)
"Hi! I know it's 50 cents...just a second..."
(finding two quarters that the kids already have in their State Quarters collection - so they're safe to use)
"...here you go. Sorry I was slow."
(nods and smiles to the attendant when she says to 'Have A Nice Day' and continues the drive to work)
"The attendants are all so nice. Usually they give Bleecker a treat - see the drool on his chin? He expects treats from them but for the past two weeks he's been on a diet. (laughs out loud) Funny that the holidays got to his waist too!"
"Only a few more minutes and we'll be pulling up to work."
(turn on the radio and start humming along to the Jack Johnson song that's playing)
"What? Yeah, that's a sign for the Old Bag Factory...I know...we passed it. I told you we were on our way to work, and, well, there's a little more to it." (driving through the intersection and turning left at the next light)
"You see, there's been some things going on and it's resulted in some change. OK...a lot of change."
(sitting at light waiting for it to turn green)
(car behind honks their horn)
"Geez - sorry! (waves at car behind me in apology) Um, I guess green means go, right? (laughs nervously) I kind of wish life's traffic lights were that straight-forward. You see, what I'm trying to say is that I won't be going to the Old Bag Factory for work very much longer..."
(stopping at another red light, and THIS TIME knowing when to go when the light turned green)
"...after 17 years of being located in the Old Bag Factory, my shop is moving."
(car comes to a stop in a parking space downtown, in from of tall, old buildings with original facades)
"Yeah, it's been really hard having to make this decision. Unfortunately it wasn't really mine to make - it was thrust on me and in life's necessity I had to make the decision to close at my current location or try desperately to find a new one - and fast. It's never easy when doors close in your life..."
(looking out the windshield)
"...but THIS is my open door. I am thrilled, nervous and excited to show you the NEW home of Accents! It's also the new home of Identity Advertising & Design, Doug's business!"
(clasping my hands together in front of me and surveying the site before me)
"I could use old cliches or get philosophical on you again, but I won't. Doug and I have moved past the bitter-deciding-phase-that-fate-dealt-us and although it is a daunting task to redo this old building and move our ENTIRE office and shop into it in THE NEXT MONTH - we're up for it! It's our new place. Things are different here but so much of what we have and are is the same."
*** Won't you join us in doing a little happy-dance that the sun shone down on our faces in order to put all shadows behind us?! Such timing! My family and I have so much to be thankful for! Thank YOU ALL for your support! We have so much to share in the near future - interior pics are unbelievable and the renovations are already underway! We're keeping it "real" here in small-town USA and I would love for you all to accompany us on our journey!***
Oh the places you'll go!!!!!