Sunday Afternoon Detours
Detours in Life
At least three out of every four Sunday afternoons my family would pile into our car and we would drive. Sometimes we’d take a picnic and eat along some scenic spot and other times we would go out to eat Sunday luncheon and then drive. Occasionally we would be coming home from visiting relatives out of town. Sunday afternoon, though, often found us in the car driving.
Car rides are not always enjoyable since children seldom take to confined spaces very well. This was back in the days before portable cassette tape machines or DVD players. Entertainment was found by counting the number of cars in a particular color or playing Car bingo – looking for specific models or houses of a certain color. The occasional large truck would pass and sometimes blow its horn but mostly we would talk and enjoy nature that we passed.
These rides to nowhere are some of my most favorite memories of my father. We always had a general idea of where we were going but we seldom got there by following a straight line or by going the most expedient route. At least twice every Sunday we would need to turn around, often the three-point turn being done with no shoulder and the chance spectator in th3e form of an errant cow or squirrel.
Detours are usually accompanied with frustration but these Sunday detours we always ended up taking were characterized by laughter. I never realized they would later serve as a metaphor of life for me. Getting somewhere is very important, especially if you need to meet an airline’s schedule or set up for a meeting. Often, though, we let our frustration with life’s detours blind us to the opportunities they offer us.
Mary Kay Ash, the founder of Mary Kay cosmetics, once said that “When you come to a roadblock, take a detour.” It is sage advice because, I can promise you, life will present a great many roadblocks in your living. The important thing to remember when we encounter such is that detours can be fun and are always educational.
On this day that we honor fathers, it is important to remember that fatherhood is not a straight line either. It is fraught with trials and errors, laughter and tears, accomplishments and frustrations. No one is perfect; no life is perfect. Remember to enjoy the detours you encounter and recognize that even in the unexpected deviations and diversions, there can be laughter.