A number of good things came about on my trip to the mountains this past weekend. One of those was being getting back into another book. Last month while on vacation with my family, I lost myself in the pages of a book called “Hill Country,” written by Janice Woods Windle. I found myself more interested than usual in a book of this type. I wasn’t sure if it was actual interest or due to reading at such a high elevation. Nonetheless, this historical fiction novel lured me in and not even the 400 + pages could scare me out of reading it.
I wasn’t able to finish that book in the short time I was there at the Quiet Hill Ranch. However, I’m fortunate enough to have grandparents with quite the library in their house and this book was in their collection. It was a good read that leads me to want to read some of her other novels, such as “True Women” and “Will’s War.” But at this time, there are a few too many books in my mental queue, so to speak.
But back to this past weekend’s road trip: knowing that it was going to be a longer drive than I am used to and radio stations are few and far between, I took a few steps in preparation. Some paid off, while others were a complete waste of time.
- Audible: I downloaded several different types of books on my phone so that I would have a variety to fit my specific mood.
- Food: A Cultural Culinary History by the Great Courses
- Everybody Writes by Ann Handley
- Spanish Phase 1, Unit 01-05 by Pimsleur
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Getting Things Done by David Allen
Can you guess which ones I read? Hint: I listened most of one of them and 30 minutes of another. I’ll disclose the answer at the end of this post.
2. Music: Since I cancelled my membership to Spotify last month, I attempted to move a bunch of my music from my MacBook Pro to my Samsung Galaxy s5.
This was an epic fail. After spending hours, really, at home and just before I left work trying to figure out how to move the music over, an hour into my drive I tried to play music and it said there was an error in the file type :( Since I no longer have an iPhone, it isn’t as simple as plugging in your phone to your computer if you have a Mac. But I will not let this get the best of me. Tonight I am going to try to load music directly on the mini SD card inside of my phone via a card reader. We shall see.
3. Podcasts: Like I said in my Things Tuesday post yesterday, I have loved the convenience of and information in the podcasts I have subscribed to. All of the ones I listen to are FREE, which of course makes them even better. Listening to podcasts is less commitment than an audio book. But they provide the information, comedic relief, brain stimulation and so forth that I am looking for when driving.
4. CDs: Because I foresaw my music possibly giving me trouble, I brought along a handful of CDs that I love at the moment. There is no simpler form, other than cassette tapes I suppose, of listening to music than a CD provides. Other than skip and volume control, the activity requires no other action; therefore bring distractions to a minimum. Always a good thing when considering the dangers of distracted driving. Some of the CDs I brought with me:
- So This is Life by Courtney Patton
- Riser by Dierks Bentley
- To All the Girls by Willie Nelson
- Hold My Beer: Vol. 1 by Wade Bowen and Randy Rogers
5. Snacks & Drinks: What would a road trip be without a fully stocked snack and drink bag secured in the front seat? The highlights of this bag would be a Mr. Pibb X-treme I found at a random gas station in Kerrville, lemon-lime Gatorade to fight off my ensuing headache (didn’t have any time for a headache on this vacation), sunflower seeds (Regular, Cajun, and Salt and Vinegar varieties), Big Red chewing gum, and a case of water. A case might have been overboard; however, a) it’s cheaper to buy it by the case, it’s not like it will go bad; and b) what if I had the misfortune to breakdown somewhere along the way with no cell service? Mom, I hope you skip over this part, because that thought is a little scary. But really, a case of water in your car probably doesn’t hurt no matter where you are going.
6. Map/Directions: I had not only a physical, fold out map of Texas in my car, but I had printed out my directions too, in case I lost service and any sort of internet connection along the way. Also, before I had left work, I mapped out where were the best gas stations on my route so that I would know where the clean restrooms and good candy variety would be. This part of the preparation paid off more than any of the other steps believe it or not.
But back to what I read/listened to: drum roll. If you guess the Spanish lesson and “To Kill a Mockingbird” you would be correct! After my baby sister was assigned to read “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the end of her freshman year in high school, I was disappointed I had never read it myself. I’ve had it on my list on Audible for months, but finally I thought this 6-hour drive would be the perfect place to begin. And it sure was. I listened to it for three hours and was hooked. On the way home Sunday, I listened for another four hours. I only have two hours of it left! I must finish it before the weekend though. It has been way too good of a book! The narrator is spot on and the story itself has caused me to feel such a wide array of emotions. It’ll be bittersweet to finish such a good novel, but luckily Harper Lee has another book out called “Go Set a Watchman” that I will be reading in the near future.