Every summer my family made long distance drives to see my grandparents in Denver, Colorado. My dad played ‘chauffeur’ to his three ladies, hauling us in a big black 1976 Lincoln Town Car. Never mind that our huge hearse of a car was sold to us on major discount from a guy who owned a salvage yard…the Town Car felt like brand spankin’ new, height of luxury to us.
Little Girl Lisa knew we didn’t have a lot of money, but I was proud of that car. I pretended I was a movie star being driven around in a limousine and that we were zillionaires! Forget the fact that my parents were both teachers and every penny they made was squeezed to the limit to provide for us. We were rich in family life, and that’s what counts, and now I'm rich in memories.
The photos above? NOT our car. Someone on the internet took photos of THEIR car, but ours looked like this!
Part of the adventure of these endless drives was the fact that the Lincoln had cruise control! We’d finally pass through all the little roads to get out of Missouri and we’d settle in for the hours and hours of highway that crossed the state of Kansas. My dad would gently accelerate, press the magic button on the steering wheel, take his foot off the gas... and then we’d cruise!
The car felt lighter, faster — and little human moments would occur and add life to the ride. Our dad would relax and find a good radio station. Mom might find a treat in her purse and share it with my sister Jules and me in the backseat. Jules would pass the time with Nancy Drew or Laura Ingalls Wilder, or maybe with her Walkman listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40. And me? I’d look out the window and let my imagination go off into the horizon.
These cruise-control moments felt like we were on a magic carpet ride, being guided by the stars or some magnetic pull from the highway pavement. My summers in New York feel a little like I’m driving with cruise control. I’m being guided by sunsets and the magnetic pull from the ocean. I’m making very little effort, but continually moving forward. I mean, now we have cars that park themselves, drive themselves and start when you push a button… very little effort indeed!
This photo from one of my favorite sites We’re Not Really Strangers caught me off guard as I was scrolling through Instagram. “Are you living intentionally or just cruising?” I’m sure it was meant to inspire us to be mindful and say/act/do with purpose. I took a screen shot of it, opened up the NOTES app on my phone and immediately began typing this blog. In that instant I was ‘cruising,’ but I shifted quickly into intention.
I remember being that kid in the backseat of our Lincoln Town Car. When my dad pressed the cruise control button, we got to ease into our journey. We could enjoy the scenery, and each other’s company, all while continuing to move forward. I liked that feeling. I was intention free! Yes, intentions are good. Mindful actions are good. Goals, To-Do lists and schedules are all aces! But I’m here to advocate for the cruise control.
During the summer months I try to let myself off the hook. I slow my hustle. I take time to look at the scenery and let my imagination go off into the horizon. I don’t obsess over clients being out of town. I set fewer alarms and find ease to balance out the effort of my fall and winter. My intentions and goals will be right there to greet me in September. Even on days we choose to cruise instead of intend, we are still moving forward.
Speaking of intending, I have intended to make these frozen banana lollipops for years! I finally did and I’m obsessed. You will be too. Very little effort with a big satisfying reward.
Frozen Banana Lollipops
10 ounces Chocolate Chips or 10 ounces of your favorite chocolate bar
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
Peel the bananas and then slice them into 1 1/2 inch coins.. Carefully insert a stick into each banana slice, not piercing to the other side, and then place it on the baking sheet. Freeze the bananas for 1 hour.
Melt the chocolate chips with the coconut oil in a deep metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl of chocolate and set it aside.
Remove the bananas from the freezer, and one at a time, dip them in the chocolate, letting the excess chocolate drip off. Immediately sprinkle the banana with the assorted sprinkles and then lay the banana on the wax paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat the dipping and decorating process with the remaining bananas and then return them to the freezer for 30 minutes, or until the chocolate is firm.