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

speculate about.


Sandra Lee Smith

January, 2015

Updated July 14, 2018

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