“Summertime and the livin’ is easy.”
Those words taken from George Gershwin’s famous Broadway hit, “Porgy and Bess,” remind us it’s nice to slow our pace of living in the summertime.
Most people will take advantage of the longer, warmer days to relax from the helter-skelter of their day or night jobs. Family barbecues, boating, swimming, camping trips, or just settling in a lawn chair with a good book and a thirst-quenching beverage.
What does this have to do with journaling? For me, a lot.
When our kids were growing up, every March we would pull out the road atlas and begin to plan our annual vacation trip. When June arrived and the van was packed to the “gills,” kids ensconced in their seats, we took off for a part of the country never before visited by the La Vigne clan.
Traveling over country roads or city highways, I kept a memo book, shorthand notebook, or a “real” journal in my hand, recording the sights and events of our trip. Every day’s entry began with the date and time of departure for the next leg of the journey. I never realized at the time how much would be forgotten over the years. Reliving those trips by rereading the notes has certainly made pleasant memories come alive once again.
In June, 2001, my journal records several events on our journey as we traveled to Michigan. My husband was somewhat incapacitated, and we knew a wheelchair would serve him well. Before leaving home, we were able to borrow a wheelchair from a friend. I might forget that while in Chicago, I was wheeling my husband across a street on which construction workers were engaged in street repairs. I steered the chair too close to a lamp post and bent the wheel. It took one of the construction workers who came to my aid to straighten the wheel so the chair would work again. That little tidbit went into my journal.
We visited the Art Institute of Chicago that day. After viewing several art masterpieces, we bought souvenir tee shirts. Mine had a reproduction of Edward Hopper’s painting—“Nighthawks.” That painting later became the subject of a “stream of consciousness” story about the people depicted in a coffee shop late at night. Another journal reference.
Throughout our traveling days in Michigan, I recorded sights, sounds, and events—such as getting a flat tire and dealing with a “local boy” who apparently fixed the tire without really fixing it. That came to light later on as we continued driving along. Recording the details of our frustration over that later on provided us with a good laugh.
I learned it’s a good idea to journal while you journey. Your entries can turn out to be inspiration for your next book. Maybe a New York Times Bestseller?