We were driving north, my older brother and I,
heading for Seattle, but along the way he had
business meetings slated in San Francisco,
Redding and perhaps one or two other cities I have
forgotten–it was a long time ago.
Along the way, we either took turns driving or
reading or navigating–but mostly we talked as
we were driving north, talking about our respective
childhoods and the twists and turns we each had
taken; he going into the Air Force at the age of
eighteen–and I getting married when I turned
eighteen. He is three years older than I.
“You know, Sandy,” he mused, “I could never
understand why you married Jim Smith when you
did–I thought once I got out of the Air Force and
could pursue going to college–you and I would
get an apartment together…”
I was stunned. “And why is it,” I asked, “That you
never shared that plan with me?”
He had gone into the Air Force to get away from
home. I had gotten married for the same reason.
In the greater scheme of things, I suppose, we do
what we are supposed to do with our lives. If I had
not married Jim Smith it is unlikely I would have
ended up in California. If we marry someone else,
would we still; have the same children? Driving
north that day we mused about the paths our
lives had taken. Jim believed he would still have the
same three children – one son and two daughters.
I am not convinced. It wouldn’t have been the same
DNA, would it?
I would go on several other business trips with my
brother and more than once we drove north–
to San Francisco, twice to Reno, several times to
Las Vegas–but it was that particular trip, Driving North
that has remained fresh in my mind–and much to
Sandra Lee Smith
Updated July 14, 2018