By Galen Holley/NEMS Daily Journal
Last weekend my wife and I took a road trip to Omaha to attend the wedding of an old friend.
The day before I left a coworker told me, “There’s no way I could drive all that way with my husband. I’d kill him.”
Angie and I are used to driving long distances together. At least twice a year we drive to Savannah, to a bed and breakfast we’ve been visiting for years. That’s about 11 hours on the road. The last three years we’ve driven to Disney World.
It’s not so bad. We both have fond memories of family road trips when we were children. Angie’s father was one of those Route 66 guys. He liked stopping at citrus stands in Florida to take the kids’ picture in front of stuffed alligators, that sort of thing.
There’s a great picture of little Angie and her sister, standing in front of this crumb bum motel somewhere in Florida with big frowns on their faces. Doug insisted they stay there because he’d stayed there as a boy when his father took them on a long trek across the southeastern U.S.
The place had declined over the years.
There are things about the road that Angie and I miss. White Castle, that’s always good. My wife loves a factory outlet, and we hit one whenever we drive farther than Memphis. There are stores that put a special twinkle in her eye, like L’Occitane and Nordstrom. I like to watch her when she spots them from the moving car. “Oh, oh, oh,” she’ll say, then immediately look at her watch and squint her eyes.
Staying in hotels is fun. It’s nice to have somebody fuss over you, clean up after you, make your bed. I have a thing about the comforters, though. The first thing I do is peel them off and put them in the closet. Then I call the front desk and have them bring up a fresh blanket.
When we arrived in Omaha, late Friday, we were exhausted. A hot shower never feels so good as when you’ve been napping and taking your turn at the wheel from sunup until well after supper.
We began unpacking, going through that ritual married people do, where the husband asks, insecurely, “Does this look ok?” and the wife, completely consumed in what’s she about to put on, just says, “Yeah.”
After the frantic rush to get to Omaha, to get parked and get checked in, things slowed down. My wife and I were really sweet to each other.
There was a gift basket waiting for us with lots of local goodies, compliments of the bride. Angie and I each had a big, juicy Omaha steak for supper, then walked around downtown.
At some point, my wife and I both drifted back to our wedding day, when my buddy John, who we’d come to watch jump the broom, was one of my groomsmen.
When Angie and I entered St. Cecilia’s cathedral, we both got emotional. Few things compare to the anticipation of two people about to join their lives.
At the reception I danced with my wife for the first time in years, and remembered how nice it was at our wedding, watching her dance with her father.
The road home was nice. We talked on and on about the wedding, like two old women in a beauty shop. We stopped at White Castle, again. Then we came home, unpacked our suitcases and climbed into bed with our cats.
Contact Daily Journal religion editor Galen Holley at (662) 678-1510 or firstname.lastname@example.org.