If you asked me about the majority of my childhood memories, I could easily tell you that they revolve around music and riding in the car. Whether it was trips to Boston or to Missouri to see family, or just riding around locally, I cannot remember a time where music was not an integral part of the ride.
As we’re all quarantined and practicing social distancing, I find myself doing two things to get out of the house to stay balanced – distanced walking, and rides in the car. I literally just got home from riding around listening to Joey DeFrancesco’s jazz radio show on XM, letting my mind unwind as I listened to great music, and while I took in some different scenery. I find the music and the motion of the car very soothing after teleworking all day, and feeling cut off from the rest of the free world.
This past Sunday, I drove up to Pennsylvania to see my daughter….it was a perfectly sunny day without a lot of traffic….the ultimate conditions for a road trip! It’s about four hours round trip, but it could’ve been 20 hours and I wouldn’t have cared. I found myself listening to a lot of music that I remembered from years ago, and music that I remember from my college days. I remembered riding with my friend Jon back to Ithaca after fall break back in 1988, listening to The Moody Blues’ Days of Future Passed, and it was truly a nostalgic ride listening to this album in its entirety the other day. I also listened to the recent Tony Bennett/Bill Charlap record, as well as my go-to car ride albums of Nat King Cole, Mel Torme and Ray Charles. These albums and songs remind me of my family, and how special those car rides were to me growing up.
I know that it’s suggested that right now, people should only travel for essential reasons – for me, having this time in the car is very essential. And yes, I’ll be taking a ride every Sunday afternoon while I’m working from home and this pandemic continues. It might only be a ride for 20 minutes, or it could be a ride for a few hours, who knows? What I do know is this – my Sunday drives are very helpful to my well being as we go through this pandemic, and having that special time gives me a tremendous feeling of inner peace.
See you on Sunday!