In case you were interested or should ever come to need this information, it takes 9.5 hours to get from Wicker Park on the northwest side of Chicago to Germantown on the east side of Memphis. 9.5 hours of going no more than 6 mph over the speed limit (which damn near killed me), near constant rain and a cat that was awake (read: shouting at me) more than she was asleep.
There were state troopers at least every 10 miles in Illinois and each time I passed one, even knowing that I wasn't speeding by highway standards, my gut just clenched. I have lost count of my speeding tickets. A long-distance boyfriend in college and long roadtrips across the relatively desolate Midwest will do that to you.
Ok, it may also be hereditary. If you were to pool the amount collected from each of my nuclear family's speeding tickets, it probably accounts for the Super Troopers holiday party in each of the three surrounding states. I don't run red lights, I always use my blinker when changing lanes or turning and I am gracious about letting people in (unless they're being bullies or cheaters) but give me an open highway with cornfields on both sides and you might mistake me for Doc Brown in a DeLorean. No clock tower required.
Not so, yesterday. From my parents, my boss and my friends it was a very "slow and steady wins the race" kind of day. Pouring for 40% of the ride and for the other 60% it was spitting with just enough variation to have to constantly adjust my windshield wipers. Thank God for Sara Gruen because thus far, "Water for Elephants" is quite engaging.
You know who's not engaging (am I ranting yet?)? HC. HoneyCat is not engaging when her KittyXanax has worn off at hour 4 of a 9 hour drive. She is rude and tactless. I couldn't handle the howling from her cage so I relented and let her out of it once I stopped for gas. She got thrown back a couple times but when she approached me purring and the bad rain had stopped, I did finally let her curl up in my lap. She stayed there, quiet and sleeping for 2 hours of glorious silence. Then my phone vibrated between HC and my lap and let's just say we went back to the box for a little bit.
Both our attitudes changed when I got off Nonconnah, the last highway before entering my hometown. She could sense the speeds changing and I could feel home coming.