my comfort zone is getting smaller


1971 family trip to Florida (or "Nice Hat Mom!")


I pulled this photograph out the other day to put on facebook…it made me laugh…I remember some things about that trip from upstate NY to Florida during our high school spring break. For starters, there were 8 of us packed into that car! Eight full-sized humans in one car for 24 hrs straight! I was 16 years old and my parents (I do now really question their sanity) let me bring my best friend AND my boyfriend! What were they thinking?! How did we fit?! Not to mention the fact that in the middle of the trip I broke up with my boyfriend and so my parents were stuck entertaining him for the bulk of their “vacation”.

Anyway, what really strikes me is how I never remember even considering the things that I now “require” for vacations (like my own hotel room, private bathroom, a quiet, beautiful hotel…the list goes on). I also didn’t worry that if I didn’t get enough sleep, I would not enjoy myself, what food would be available,  as a matter of fact, I don’t think I worried about that much. I have become, little by little, less flexible, more concerned with “getting all of my ducks in line”, …my husband says I am the most organized trip planner that he has ever met. That is probably true but you cannot “plan” spontaneity  into a trip . A part of me really wants to leave room for the spontaneous, the unexpected, and another part wants to plan every detail…leave nothing to chance. But that is not really living, and I don’t believe in chance, so I am setting my intention today to expand my comfort zone…just please don’t ask me to drive to Florida in a Bronco with 7 other people….ever.

11 thoughts on “my comfort zone is getting smaller”

  1. Really neat photograph. My mother used to carry a special purse for trips. It was sizable, woven straw with a leather clapse, stiff leather handles. Seemed to have everything in it.

    That figure to the right, it that a sign, or one of those enigmatic muffler men that populate the highways and byways?

    1. If you’ve never been on I-95 through South Carolina, then you wouldn’t recognize the SOUTH OF THE BORDER Giant Man. South of the Border is a terrible tourist mecca in Dillon, SC, just south of the NC/SC border. It’s awful. I mean, really really awful. But you haven’t traveled I-95 until you’ve been to South of the Border! It’s a must, especially for northerners traveling to Florida.

  2. A great photo and post. Those were the days. Pack up the family and all and go for a road trip. If a family did that today (8 in a Bronco) the driver could be heavily fined and/or arrested. Highway safety and seat belts are wonderful but we’ve lost our spontaneous freedoms in exchange.
    And you breaking up with your boyfriend on the trip…so funny! Your parents must have been very patient people.
    I enjoy your blog. It does make me smile.

    1. Thank you Sue! I never thought about the seatbelt thing until you wrote that…my parents were totally overwhelmed most of the time (4 kids all becoming teenagers in the 60’s!!!)
      Very best to you!

  3. I think we were lucky to have grown up in the age where the family “road trip” was such an adventure. My personal favorite involved a Pontiac station wagon, sitting in the back seat (the rear seat faced the rear window) and a passel of family members. It started in the Midwest and ended up in Cape Cod. So many good and bad memories from this trip, but I wouldn’t change a second.

    1. Hi Terrie, I agree…we could never have guessed that those kind of trips would become a thing of the past! Best, Mary

  4. Thanks for the pix & story. I spotted The South of the Border Man right away. Your pix brought back memories. Happy Day to you. Keep smiling & sharing.
    Mary Rita

    1. Thank you Mary RIta….we stopped at South of the Border on every trip to Florida…and it was fun!

  5. I think the idea of life without chance is scary to me. Too much responsibility I guess. And I wonder how the idea of surrender fits in. You know “let go and let god” (someone just wrote that to me tonight)an idea I’ve always liked.
    But then I know people who believe god will take care of it all and they have no say or responsibility at all for their lives. That idea really irks me. Well, thanks for making me think about it.

  6. Love the picture and your blog, I learned about you thru reading the Bedlam Farm Journal, so thanks, Jon Katz! This brings to mind a college trip to So. Calif. for spring break in 1974 from Idaho State University. 6 people in a 1966 Mustang (great car!) All I remember was the fun we had, no worries about seatbelts or feeling crowded or what was on the “agenda”, just alot of great memories, life was simpler! Really enjoy your blog.

    1. Thank you Terri!
      Jon had been telling me for a while that I needed to do a blog, and I am truly loving it…(6 people in a Mustang beats 8 in a Bronco)
      very best,

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