"Let's get the show on the road!" my father always said when he got impatient. I always imagined us as small circus ensemble as we'd rush to get into the car. It felt like he was ready to drive off without us if we didn't hustle. Dad loved to drive. If it were a long trip he'd have a thermos of coffee that he'd refill again and again at truck stops along the way. Day or night, he'd drink coffee and drive.
We'd go on these cross-country trips in August. Dad would drive the whole way. Once he drove straight from Arizona to Columbus, Ohio. The rest of us were exhausted but the agonizing drive didn't faze him. At a gas station, while he was filling his thermos, we made our move—refusing to get back into the car. He begrudgingly got us a room at a local motel but resumed his mania the next morning. "Let's get the show on the road!"
While packing and preparing for a trip is an endless stream of to-do lists, exhilaration supersedes all when we finally hit the road. Wind to our back, we race off. In constant motion we cut through air, race past the inert. We're on the way. All possibilities lie before us. The past shrinks right before our eyes.
If I were a dog, I'd be the kind to stick my head out the window. Nose in the air, I'd sniff the world for exotic new fragrances. My ears would flap, I'd stick out my tongue and grin in that dog-like way. Dogs know just like my dad did—there ain't nothin' like getting the show on the road.