Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Toughest Road Of All

I have been in many roads in my life, some roads are quite winding - you never know what is at the end of the curve until you finish it.  My trek to become a vet had its road involved - an eight year travel which saw me wind my way through a B.S.A. degree in Saskatoon, followed by a stint of driving on the opposite drive of the road in England for a few months before driving my way to a chicken plant in Wynyard (I can tuck a turkey tail in less than 10 seconds - you had too, that was how fast the line was going), then to a feed company in Saskatoon for half a year before the Vet college allowed me to park my vehicle outside its hallowed halls.  The trip through vet college had quite a few late night drives - either driving back from studying for the next exam, or driving from a dance on the weekend, or driving from my friends after a night of "Supper and The Simpsons" - and The Simpsons is still on television, as is my friendship with Dr. Dave and his wife Penny - 23 years and counting-a long trip.
Some roads can be bumpy at times, such as that road of marriage.  First it is full of fun hills and sharp curves, exhilarating at times, then for many miles it can be a flat drive, where there are no curves, or hills in the horizon, and you can put the vehicle on autopilot.  Often, there are the bumpy bits- some more bumpy than others-where you have to slow down, take off the cruise and maybe even stop to determine a better route for your destination.  There may be some discussion on the best route to take - you may have to take a road that you may not think is the best route, but since your spouse is sometimes in the driver's seat, you let them take the wheel.  Sharing the driving is important so that your partner does not get overtired.  As well, you don't want to get too distracted and hit the ditch - so know when it is time to allow your spouse to take the wheel-and be prepared to take the wheel if your heart is not in it to drive- we all have to take turns.   Sometimes the marriage vehicle you drive may have a complete breakdown - and it has to be put in the shop to have it fixed.  It may be a minor fix that takes little time- or it may be a major fix which takes months -but often it takes the two of you to get it done, sometimes with the help of a mechanic.  Often when you're driving with your spouse, you may go on a road that you have been on before-sometimes they may be the fun hills - and sometimes they may be routes that lead to the same familiar, bumpy trip- in which you know the exact bump which can be hit which causes a slight case of whiplash.  Yes, a pain in the neck it can be.  Sometimes you are smart enough to drive around those bumps so not to test the shocks, and other times -you get forgetful-and find yourself riding those same bumps again. You try to remind yourself not to repeat that trip again...but once in awhile you have that urge to go on that same, bumpy route - testing those shocks again.  And once again, the neck brace comes out.  You would think you would learn.
 For a few marriages, you may get into separate vehicles and drive your separate ways for awhile - not that you want to, but because you have to.  The road may not be the same road, but may be a parallel road - and you meet up again miles in the distance - ditch one of the vehicles and jump in together again travelling again on the road of life. There are other marriages where spouses jump into separate cars and make their own trips, and their roads never converge again - each taking different journeys that lead to different places.  Unfortunately, the insurance policy runs out on these marriages and the vehicle is left on the side of the road-with the engine out of oil and a few flat tires.  Often a new driver gets the engine going again, and a new trip is planned, and a new journey is taken.

This is Chris and my 20th year of driving -the anniversary will be this August.  We have driven many miles together, some bumpy, some smooth.  There have been a few separate trips which we have made - a few that seemed to have been provinces apart for a period of time, but mostly we are in the same vehicle.  We have had to top up the oil, overhaul the engine once and fix a few tires along the way - but the vehicle is still running fine.  I don't expect this vehicle to mile out until we have miled out ourselves.

For new couples starting this journey, remember a few things.
1.  Occasionally, you have to drive on the bumpy roads to get to where you have to go.
2. If you get on a bumpy road - slow down and save your teeth.
3.  If you are on a highway, you may want to slow down and enjoy the view.  Heck, stop and take a few pictures along the way.
4. Whether you think you need them or not, don't forget the tune ups -they are needed to keep that vehicle going.
5.  Renew the air freshener often, you may have to cover the stench once in awhile.  The Pine Tree Air freshener or Febreeze - it doesn't matter which one.
6.  If it seems like the same stench is smelled time and time again - make sure there is not a dead fish caught between the seats.  If there is one, throw it out the window and clean vehicle interior thoroughly.
7.  If you are the one driving, you may have control of the radio and the air conditioner - within reason of course.
8. Check the air in your tires.
9.  If you hear a squeak - don't turn up the radio to tune it out - find out what it is.
10.  Don't worry if you have to stop and ask for directions along the way.  If you don't, you may find yourself hopelessly lost.

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