Happy Birthday, dear Driver

Today is the day my dear Driver turns Medicare Age. Of course, we had to celebrate. Last week we planned for a little trip out of town just to mark the day.

Yesterday he had his first of three “knee shots,” and we had enough faith that it will work, we decided to test it by driving to the Pacific Ocean at Long Beach. It has been many years since we had been here and it was an exciting proposition.

We hastily packed small bags and threw them in the car, setting out for the road at 10:45. It was a little later than we had wanted, but no matter, we’re on vacation now. The weather was calling us to the beach as it was 84 degrees as we passed Tacoma. And, it would certainly get warmer.

Our first comfort stop came West of Olympia where we buzzed into a Barnes and Noble Store (a very nice one, actually) and also found ourselves in the check-out line with several titles. One of them was David McCollugh’s “The Pioneers” on audio. We promptly put it into the now ancient CD player in our little Dixie, and we continued on while learning more about the early history of our country and its expansion into the Ohio territory.

By the time we hit Montessanto, it was 91 degrees and my driver needed to rest his eyes for 20 or 30 minutes. I braved the heat and took a short walk around the tiny town. To my surprise, they had one of the most finely stocked Thriftway stores I’ve ever visited. There were more ethnic choices, and fresh baked assortments than we have in our neighborhood in the city. Plus, they had screamingly cool air-conditioning, which made me want to extend my visit.

Back on the road to the coast, one hour later we stopped in Raymond, a familiar stop from when we used to drive this route with our kids on the way to their grandparents. It was still the same, even 25 years later. Does Dairy Queen ever change?

One more hour, passed an extremely low tide on Willapa Bay, and we were checking into a funky motel in Long Beach. Amenities are scarce, but there is a bed and pillows, the most necessary items. We refreshed ourselves for a few minutes and set out again to meet a very unusual cousin. She was discovered by my dear driver during his ancestry research. What’s so interesting about her is, she is related by DNA to both my driver and me. How unusual is that?

She welcomed us to her little beach cabin and we sat for an hour just taking ancestry. When the time was right, we took her to the local Mexican restaurant, and we continued to talk. We found we had many more things in common than simply our shared DNA. Dinner was pleasant, and the conversation even more so.

Returning to our motel, with the air cooling down with the setting of the sun, we walked down to the boardwalk along the longest beach in the world: Long Beach. Needless to say, it was a lovely walk. Our sons called their father to wish him a happy birthday, and our celebration for today was complete.

A Birthday; a trip out of town for a change of scenery; meeting a new cousin related to BOTH of us, a Mexican dinner and a walk along the beach at sunset. What could be better? Now we can rejoice in the grace of being officially “old” together. Happy Birthday my dear driver, companion, lover, and friend. Happy Birthday.