We left Alberta two days later than we had planned. As we pulled out of the driveway – (and let me assure you – for The Man this is early) – at 7:30am – I said as I always say – “And we’re off like a herd of turtles.”
The drive took us east through Saskatchewan and had us crossing into North Dakota – naturally during another snowstorm. I hate winter driving enough that I usually do not venture out on the roads from November until May. In Alberta – we can have snow every month of the year so it can limit my driving quite a bit. I panicked as I usually do when there is snow on the road and gave The Man enough grief that I’m sure he wished he could have just transported me to New Orleans and met me there.
For those of you who know me - you know that I have a very bad back from all the beatings I sustained before I reached the ripe old age of 30 and from 2 skiing accidents sustained at high speeds. After having stood for both shows – the booths aren’t big enough to warrant a stool even – I was in pain. Enough pain that I couldn’t get comfortable even with the heated car seats. And when a man has his eyes glued to his new GPS toy – you know he’s going to want to do everything in his power to ‘prove the machine wrong’ and get us to our destination sooner than the ETA that the new GPS states.
So I spent the first 2 days in agony – staring out my window – tears streaming down my face as my back screamed in pain. My back – my legs – my brain. Sure I have painkillers. Sure we have some kind of insurance coverage for said painkillers. But – the insurance companies in their absolute wisdom have deemed it most beneficial to themselves not to allow us to have more than 30 days worth of painkillers at one time. Especially if I want them to pay the share they are supposed to cover. This made my drug supply – limited. Normally I would take a painkiller if I needed it – and had done so during the two shows. I didn’t have many options. However – that left me with just enough to cover our trip and have enough for a few extra days in case we were late getting back (which we were – another story). I couldn’t sneak an extra painkiller here or there without the surefire knowledge that I wouldn’t have any for the last few days of our trip. I’d rather go with a little more pain than usual than go without any painkillers at all. Believe me.
After two days I had to have a long talk with The Man and tell him I didn’t care if we were late getting into our RV campground reservation. I didn’t care if that damned GPS was saying we could make it there in so many hours. What I wanted to know was – how much did he care about me? I simply could not sit in the car for 12 hours at a time and be expected to be sane(ish) and be able to walk and talk as well. I needed to stop when I had had enough. That was all there was to it.
Thankfully The Man is everything I’ve always said he is. And thankfully he cares about me more than anything else. When I said stop – we stopped. When I said sure I could go another little bit – he smiled and played with that damn GPS and took us another hundred miles or so.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love the technology in a GPS. I don’t know what I did before they came along. Never having to use a foldout map again? Almost heaven! And for those of you who don’t know what they are – they are a global positioning system that locates you wherever you are in the world and gives directions to get you where you want to go.
I call ours “the bitch in the box”. I can get pretty sick of listening to some woman giving us instructions to drive for another 800 miles before we can reach our destination. Still – it has been a lifesaver more than once – and when you’re towing a trailer behind you it’s great to know what lane you need to be in for an upcoming turn. It’s also great to know there’s a rest area up ahead or a gas station or a restaurant. Sometimes it just boggles my brain. Sometimes I’m ready to throw it/her out the window. But I never want to be without one again.
Needless to say – the ‘bitch in the box’ got us to our first and only programmed destination before reaching New Orleans - - Memphis, Tennessee or shall I be more specific and say Graceland. And for those of you out there who have no idea what that is? Elvis.