On a London street this summer I overheard a group of twenty-somethings discussing the "American road trip." Following along behind them, the sidewalk wet with rain, I was amused by the conversation. It became hilarious when the knowledgeable one traced our road trips right back to their beginnings. "They get the idea from their movies."
Aha! Now I know why I spend so many hours in the car with four kids and a dog. It has nothing to do with the cost of airfare or the size of this country. Nor, really, anything to do with poor public transportation infrastructure and limited options. No, it's not that we're a mobile generation, a family without a home town. It's just me living out my Hollywood dreams.
Before a trip I love to have the laundry baskets empty and the floors mopped. Bryan likes to tidy up his office (please don't ask what that involves!) and rake the yard. We both love searching Librivox and choosing an audiobook to download for the ride. Be careful about finding the real site, we've often forgotten the address and found there are several that look alike but aren't quite the same.
What's so great about Librivox? Well, it's free. You could have guessed that was coming. The site is full of books in the public domain, which means they're old, read by volunteer readers. They are volunteer, and remember you're not paying, so some readers are better than others. One man was painfully hard to listen to, we mimicked him as we sped along the interstate, but the book was good so we persevered. One reader had a strong foreign accent, but it suited the subject matter nicely. I often find audio versions of the school books I've assigned my kids. They are, surprisingly, uninterested.
On a recruiting trip this weekend my men are listening to stories from Sherlock Holmes. And for the long, family ride, we'll have The Story Girl by L.M. Montgomery to while the hours away. What's it about? I don't know, never heard of it. We chose it based on a love affair with Ann of Green Gables. Maybe I'll tell you in December.