There Is Such a Thing as Too Safe…

My less-than-a-year-old car has started yelling at me every time I turn it on. For multiple reasons. First, it started pinging about needing an oil change, when it does not, in fact, need one for about another 2000 miles (somehow, the last time we got an oil change, the alarm was reset incorrectly). Then, it began to complain of low windshield wiper fluid when there was still plenty left. Now, it won’t shut up about the tire pressure. And sure, that one is probably valid, but not as detrimental as the beeping is making it out to be. One after another, as soon as the key turns. The fluid was topped off this morning, solving at least one issue, but the others will take a little more time. And this got me thinking about how so much today is idiot-proofed, and how maybe that isn’t such a good thing.

It’s not that I’m cruel or particularly unsafe, but I feel like we as a culture are worried about the wrong things, as far as safety is concerned. We have laws and technology and extreme measures taken to protect us, mostly out of fear of litigation on the parts of corporations. However, I think that depending on these things to protect us, we begin to lose our ability to make clear, common sense judgments for ourselves and we lessen our opportunities for enjoying a full life. We willingly swathe ourselves in bubble wrap without realizing how much our view of reality is obscured by the plastic bubbles.

It’s a tricky path to travel, though, isn’t it? And the argument for some of the laws and implementation of technological innovations (many clearly before they are ready for implementation), the “if it saves even one life, isn’t it worth the inconvenience/cost”, is a tough one to argue against.

The Road Trip

I haven’t been present as much online lately, mostly because my time at my day job has been spent prepping my manual and beginning to train a couple of different people with my various duties.  It is unknown as of yet if they will hire a replacement in time for me to train so we’re covering all bases.  Two weeks from tomorrow is my last day!  My nights have been spent doing freelance work, product mockups, or packing.  Not a whole lot of time to spend online.

And in a few hours, I will be COMPLETELY out of contact for a couple of days.  We are getting in the car and headed for southern PA.  My older brother is getting commissioned in the Methodist Church after getting his second masters in divinity.  I’m so proud of him and his family for supporting him in fulfilling this dream.  Unfortunately, his area is SO rural that you can only get cell phone signal at the bottom of his driveway and no internet or cable.  It will be good to see family though.  I miss my nieces and nephew tons.  While we are in the area, we will also be going to Gettysburg. I am very excited to visit the area as I’ve never been.  Hopefully I can get some good pictures and do up a nice post Sunday or Monday.

But the reason for this post is to tell you that I actually really love a road trip.  I like seeing the scenery change around us.  I like singing along with music.  I like having prolonged conversations with my husband with little distraction.  I generally navigate while my husband drives (so stereotypical) but am happy to take over when he needs me to.  And I usually bring knitting or crocheting to keep my hands busy, or a notebook and my husband and I scheme and dream up new ideas.  My toddler fortunately enjoys road trips too, and I like having the excuse to stop more frequently or for longer than a bathroom break to let him stretch his legs and get some pent up energy out.  It encourages us to not feel like we have to rush, and it enables us to take in some of the natural beauty at rest areas and locations we drive through.

I have this odd split feelings.  I long for a permanent home-base, to create a nest to nurture and love my family and play hostess to our friends.  And yet I also long for travel and visiting new places and old friends.

How do all of you enjoy traveling?  I view flying as a necessary evil but would always opt for being in control in the car.  Is that totally an American way of viewing travel?  I don’t mean “control” in the “I can’t relinquish my fate to someone else” but in the sense of we can stop where and when we want.  I’ve traveled by train but it was not very comfortable.  I imagine if we could just travel via first class, my opinions might shift, but maybe not.