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The summer drive gets my motor running

By Deborah Kimmett
I love the summer drive.

Fall drives are nice, going up north to watch the leaves turn, but if your timing is off by a week all you’ll see are dead leaves. The spring drive means nothing is open yet, and the winter drive? Well. I have never gotten up once in my life and said, “Hey it’s February, let’s go for a spin.”

But when the temperature hits over 20 degrees, I get a hankering to get in the car and go somewhere. I lather on the 60 SPF sunscreen on my driving arm, which is perched on the partly rolled down window. Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” is blaring as I merge onto the highway. I am met with the sweet smells of tar and the dulcet sounds of jackhammers. Nothing says summer like a highway down to one lane. Though within minutes I’ve cranked the air up to about the same temperature as a meat locker, I know the heat is out there waiting for me.

I grew up near the Thousand Islands, which meant if someone said to go jump in the lake, you could. In the summer you would never think of getting in the car without your bathing suit on underneath your clothes. If you wore a swimsuit on a winter drive, it meant you had run out of underwear.

The best times were trips with my Dad.

My mom and his idea was that a holiday was to stuff six kids in a paneled station wagon and drive 500 or 600 kilometers a day. My Dad was the kind of guy who, if GPS had been invented back then, would’ve thought it was lying, and who believed the rest stop was for the weak. I think we were in Quebec before we got a bathroom break. He slowed down in New Brunswick and said, “Hey kids, there’s the Magnetic Hill. Of course, if we go backward like that we’ll lose time.”

We didn’t care. Perhaps we had Stockholm syndrome and had started identifying with our captor. Or perhaps we were having a ball in the back seat.

These were the days before seat belts. Every time he turned a corner we’d slam into each other. It was like being on a ride at the amusement park – without the height requirement.

We played “I Spy”, and spotted love bugs – punching each other until our upper arms were black and blue.

My mother gave us each 50 cents and I convinced my brother to pool his resources with mine to get some itching powder.
Come on, it will be fun.

We first shook it down my sister’s back when she was sleeping. The result was similar to trapping a cat in a in a tent while camping. She broke out in hives trying to crawl out of her own skin. And it ended with my mother marching down the road trying to escape, with my Dad driving behind her, both arms hung defeated over the steering wheel muttering:

“I don’t know what your Mother’s thinking. At this rate, we’ll never make it to the ocean by nightfall.”

Being forcibly confined breaks some people. Being trapped in a small space also impaired my ability to make reasonable purchases. Summer drives often tempt odd purchases of fudge or folk art. Once on a 12-hour drive to Timmins, I picked up a Billy Bass fish singing “Take Me to The River.”

This is because reality is heightened after a summer expedition.

Swims always feel more refreshing. Hotdogs taste like steak. The connections to friends are never sweeter. A lot of good summer drives end with great late night conversation echoing across the lake.

Despite evidence to the contrary I still like to go on road trips in the summer. Maybe it’s the heat. Maybe I am trying to chase a feeling I had in my youth. Or maybe my Dad was right: The destination is far better than the journey.

(from the article I wrote for the Toronto Star in 2015)

– Deborah Kimmett is a Second City veteran, a regular performer on CBC’s radio and television show “The Debaters” and a sought-after motivational speaker.

Would you like to write?

Deborah Kimmett’s One Day Writing Retreat is perfect for the creative soul!

Deborah Kimmett

The writing workshops are a day just for you to get away from your to-do lists, the kids and your partner and really dive deep into your creative life, in a safe and fun way.

What will you learn?
Learn constructive ways to push past your doubt as a writer.
Right Brain exercises to get your creative juices flowing.
Writing practices that pro’s use to create great stories.
A Day with an experienced writer and teacher who can help you focus your ideas.
A lot of laughter.

This Day Includes:
5.5-hour workshop.
The Seven Minute Writer Digitial Tool Kit ( valued at $59)
And a day with like-minded creators.
Napanee only: Lunch, coffee, tea, pie.
August 17th, 2019
10-3:30 pm
Ellena’s Cafe
16 Dundas Street
Napanee, Ontario.
$129 Lunch, Drinks, Pie Included.
Email to pay by e-transfer and to sign up.

Click here to visit Deborah’s website.

REVIEWS on her workshops:
“It was like a mani-pedi for the mind. You’ll love it!”
– Linda Kash, actress, and writer.
“One of the best teachers I have ever had.”
– Anne Fenn, Writer. Instructor.
“When I left your workshop my mind was swirling with ideas. Your reminder to
continue to ask ‘What if ?’ about every detail was a strong reminder to
lose ingrained assumptions. … Linda Williams, sculptress
“ Deb’s generosity to her students blew me away.”
– Deborah Jarvis, TV writer.

Filed Under: Deborah KimmettNews from Everywhere Else

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