Out of the $2500 that both Abby and Jenna had pooled in together, the last of their added savings, Jenna decided to take $250 for a week’s worth driving lessons. They had planned on a road trip after Abby’s not-so-successful summer camp. Abby’s mom didn’t know how to drive let alone have a car. If she was going to rent a car for this road trip, she needed to learn how to drive first. Driving was one of her biggest fears. Her father, Abby’s grandfather, had died in a car accident. Jenna remembered her father in the hospital when they rushed him in his critical condition. He had been working all night long and at daybreak when he finally decided to drive home, his car ended up getting crushed under a school bus that was parked on the side of a road.
Abby couldn’t forget the situation her grandfather was in. She was only 9 years old at that time. Her grandfather was everything to her including her only father figure. Now Abby had given Jenna the strength to battle her fears and learn how to drive. Jenna was doing it for the sake of her daughter’s happiness. Without a car, they couldn’t go anywhere far on their own. They had to rely on public transportation to go to nearby places. If Jenna learned how to drive, she could have potential job offers in nearby cities as well. The fear of driving had kept her confined with limited job offers that never worked out for her because she was over qualified for all of them.
“Here we go! Wish me luck sweetheart.” Jenna was on her way to give her road test after a week of lessons to get a driver’s license. Her driving coach was sitting next to her, so of course there was nothing to fear and she passed the driver’s test successfully. The challenge awaited. How was she going to drive by herself with a 14 year old daughter on a long road trip? Jenna didn’t worry about that yet. She was overwhelmed with joy to have acquired her driving license which she had put off for years because of this fear. Now, Abby became her strength to move forward.
Jenna’s next step was to rent a car. She had $2250 left. There was literally not a single dime left at home.
“Abby! Abby! Come out and check out our new ride now!”
Abby ran downstairs past the two other neighbors who lived in the same house out the main door to see a bright red Chevy parked across the street from where they lived.
“Wow! Its beautiful. When do we start?”
“After we plan the trip young lady! So get going and pack your bags because the sooner we plan, the sooner we get to leave.”
With a sigh of relief, Jenna and Abby walked up the stairs into the attic where they lived. It wasn’t as spacious, but was sufficient for the two of them. It got very cold in the winters, but they also had the advantage of good heating and in the summers, it was just fine. With $2250 to spend in whatever way they wanted, Jenna and Abby had something both looked forward to – Abby could have a good summer, and Jenna could overcome her fear of driving and become more independent. If she got over her fear, she could drive her daughter to camps without having to rely on people like Linda.
Abby spent a good amount of time searching for places. They were going to go to Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. They had a wide range of sight seeing locations planned with limited time to rest in between. Abby still had to pack, but kept adding more to their to-do list while on the trip. Jenna advised Abby to start packing because Abby had the habit of always forgetting something behind and then complaining to spending money to buy it again. Jenna was not going to spend a single penny on anything other than food, tickets, or gas for the car. They both had to practice mindfulness – Abby had to be mindful about her belongings and Jenna had to be mindful about her driving.
It wasn’t until midnight that Abby and Jenna finished packing whatever they needed for their road trip. They were limited on clothes. They didn’t plan on staying in hotels. They were going to sleep in their car. They were going to attend fairs and carnivals for free food and wash their clothes wherever they could. With the GPS on Jenna’s phone programmed well for the trip, she was feeling less nervous (still quite anxious!) than before about the trip. There was some strength that came from the faith of having her daughter next to her.
They were going to wake up early and drive off before sun-rise, before the traffic hit the city.