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My husband Harry and I are living proof that opposites attract and nothing proves it more than a road trip!

With many, many trips to visit relatives, vacations, and other long automobile journeys, we have rubbed together and managed to create acceptable travel compromises.

The latest development is that one of us drives while the other sits in the back seat with our dog, Tootsie. This is just to keep her happy—she loves company. It is hard to help with navigation from the back. Harry still manages to criticize my driving while sitting with Tootsie. He is supposed to be sleeping so he can take over the driving revived and refreshed but he often seems too nervous to nap.

We travel with no radio and no books on tape. When I travel alone, there is always music, news or a book playing. Singing along is a great way for me to stay awake! Harry says the radio makes him lose concentration on the road and my books on tape choices make him sleepy.

When we were first married, I was convinced he had an iron bladder and I had to beg for rest stops. Now we seem more equal and Tootsie also needs plenty of stops.

Speaking of stops, there are so many things to lure you to pause—interesting local restaurants, outlet malls, cute antique stores, state parks and general local tourism attractions. We stop for NOTHING. I have given up suggesting a stop. We do pause to get Subway sandwiches and then eat them in the car while driving, again not my choice.

One thing that keeps Harry on the road without pause is continuous eating—fruit, nuts, diet sodas, fruit bars, crackers and more. He does try to eat healthy but the car looks like a garbage dump!

We both seem to get sleepy at the same time. We often stop and walk around for a while. I also try to get Harry to talk about something that really interests him as a way to stay alert. One time we got into a fascinating discussion of family history. I did not realize the more interested he became in the topic, the faster he drove—until we were stopped for speeding!

We frequently travel to Florida. Harry knows how many miles we travel in each state. I am just happy if we are traveling in the direction where the mile markers go from the high to zero so I can see how far to the state border.

I do read every advertising sign, every license plate that I can see, every truck company and location, every river and creek sign, and so on. When I pointed out the many signs from a canned vegetable company along part of the route, Harry had not noticed. I loved those old Burma-Shave signs but HATE Pedro and South of the Border! However, their signs give a good count to the border from either direction!

Anyway, we both concentrate on being safe on the highway even if we disagree on the ways and means!

Trish Ridgeway

Trish Ridgeway is a retired public library director who enjoys Civil War history.

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