I was reminded this week of a game my family used to play when we were on road trips.
We traveled a lot. My dad was in the Navy, so we would drive long distances when we moved. My mom and I would often come home to Pensacola when my dad was at sea. My parents also enjoyed traveling and camping. We enjoyed the “freedom of the open road” a lot (there’s my tie-in to the “free” theme).
This game we used to play was simple. It was a way to keep me occupied, whether we were in the car or the camper. My mom would make a list of 10 or 15 things to look for, and as I spotted them, I would check them off my list. I remember one item was a hotel with a swimming pool. The list might include a herd of cows or a church – anything that might be seen from a highway or a road.
As I got a little bit older, I made a checklist for my mom. Now, I don’t remember what all I put on that list, except for this: Blue Toyota.
I can’t tell you where we were going on that trip, or which roads we were on, or even what year it was. What I can tell you, is that I finished my list, and my mom had everything checked off on her list EXCEPT for that blue Toyota. By the end of it, all three of us were looking for a blue Toyota. We’d spot a blue car, but when we got a good look at the logo, it was a different make.
I don’t know when we finally found that blue Toyota. It may have been on that trip or maybe not. I just remember the laughs we had over it that day and for a long time afterward.
Yesterday, I saw a blue Toyota, and it made me smile all over again.