- Family and Parenting
Tucumcari, New Mexico to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
We are tired of being on the road, our trip is becoming monotonous, and we are still three nights and four days from our new home in Henderson, North Carolina. About an hour east of Amarillo, Texas, there is a really nice rest stop. The rest stop is new, has colorful play equipment, and a thick rubber mat. It is pristene and pretty. Inside, next to the restrooms is large gray painted room that has no windows and gray benches are attached to all four walls. It is a TORNADO ROOM!!!!!! We are in TORNADO ALLEY. I have lived all of my fifty three years in California and I have never been exposed to life threatening weather conditions. We did not see a tornado but I have since learned about tornadoes and I do take some precautions.
I have run out of wine for my nightly glass of wine in Oaklahoma City, Oaklahoma. I decide to forego wine and press on. We stay in a really nice motel in Oklahoma City; It is a high-rise and has an indoor pool and tonight we actually have a suite of rooms. I ask if there is a store nearby that sells wine. There is not. We have an uneventful, restful and wine-free night in Oklahoma City. Our next night will be in Memphis, Tennessee.
As we leave Oklahoma City, it is overcast; I cannot tell which direction I am going. We need to go on a new toll road a short distance to reconnect with Interstate 40. The road is so new, there are no markers to identify direction or to confirm you are on the correct road. I drive enough miles to believe I have gone the wrong way and I get off and go back the other way. Each time I get on this anonymous road, I need to throw more money in the toll basket. I do not have city maps; I have the AAA state maps and printed Mapquest directions. I cannot tell where I am. The car we are traveling with left us long ago. For whatever reason, when I get off the toll road, I am not near anything I can identify and coordinate with the map. Each time I get back on the toll road and drive a little further to find a marker, I get more frustrated. I get angry. I am angry at the teenage boy riding shotgun who is unable to help me, I am angry at the kids clicking away on their electronic games oblivious to our dilemma, I am angry at the car we are traveling with that is long gone and probably having fun. I direct my teenage boy to call the car that is having fun to pull over where ever they are and wait for me to figure out where I am and help me get back on our route. I must be really angry because this is one of those rare times when each person is doing exactly what I tell them to do. I even order all game-boys and DVD players to be turned off. I direct everyone to to look for streets with name signs. Someone identifies a street with a name and I pull over. I am on the phone with the car that left us and they have a map of Oklahoma City. I am coached back onto I40 and later I purchase a GPS device. My older son says he never wants to ride "shotgun" with me again and that I should apologize. I haven't apologized; he rides shotgun all the time. We love each other, I behaved badly and I don't want to apologize. I don't know why.