We spent Father's Day driving nine hours. "It was great!" says my husband.
On Saturday (a.k.a. Dad's Day Eve), we watched my husband's niece get married under 100-year-old oak trees in northwestern Iowa. And we felt nostalgic because the bride had been the flower girl at our wedding 18 years earlier.
But back to our 500-mile voyage.
As we piloted our Honda to our home in suburban Chicago, our 15- and 12-year-old daughters chatted with us for nine hours straight. What a treat!
We played the highway alphabet game. (My husband and my 15-year-old somehow manage to find signs with words beginning with A, B, C - and J, Q, and Z - before anyone else can ever spot them. Dairy Queen and Jeep dealerships are their specialty.)
We passed many cornfields - and discussed crop growth. (My husband, an Iowa native, shared now-obsolete farming adages such as "knee-high by the Fourth of July.")
We pumped gas - and talked about the pros and cons of ethanol. (Sure, unlike oil, corn and other grains that can go into greener gasoline are renewable. But the story is more complicated.)
We talked about family car trips when we were kids. (We both piled into the station wagon with our parents and siblings and plowed on for hours.)
We chatted about remembering to bring along a Harry Potter book-on-tape next time. (How did we forget our long-drive tradition this time?)
We spotted windmills - and chatted about alternative energy sources.
And we took breaks. (Never been to our favorite stopping place, Galena, Illinois, home of Ulysses S. Grant? Check it out!)
And we gave our 15-year-old, armed with her learner's permit, a few hours behind the wheel. My husband sat in the front and acted as driving coach. (In honor of Father's Day, I tried to honor his no-backseat-coaching request.)
When we got home at 7:30 p.m., the girls wanted to head out to get their dad a little something. Their choice: "man-ly" flowers and "meat." (They're vegetarians and their father isn't. So buying him "meat" is a big deal.)
They hit Trader Joe's and decided on a bouquet with a big daisy, some lilies, and a mysterious "green puffball thing." And they chose turkey breast from the deli. My husband made himself a sandwich with it, helped tuck in our daughters - and said he loved his Father's Day. I think he meant it, too.
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