Nancy Drew

(I wrote this in fall of 2006 for one of my snail mail real estate newsletters.  I found a hard copy while filing a pile stacked a mile high, stashed behind closet doors on a credenza. I'd wondered where I'd put it.  I've tweaked it a bit, taking advantage of hindsight since then.)

In August I was winding along highway 156 on my way to a real estate seminar in Monterey, CA.  I recalled when I was in 4th grade how intrigued I was with Nancy Drew books.  What would it be like to live like Nancy Drew!  You know, the girl detective in the books with the titles like "The Mystery of the clock on the Mantle" or "The Mystery of the Treasure in the Attic."  I tried reading Hardy Boys books but they just didn't cut it with me.  I still have some of my original Nancy Drew books on my shelves.

Nancy Drew drove some type of convertible and she always had a suitcase packed ready to toss into the car in case some adventure came along.  I think the car had a rumble seat.  She would tell her dad (she'd lost her mom when she was younger) that she'd be going to some destination and then she'd just leave!  How cool was that?  I think her dad was an attorney.  And there was a housekeeper always around, it seems to me.

Wouldn't it be great to have my stuff organized enough to throw it into a case and hit the road on a moment's notice!  I figured that might be possible when I was an adult.  Something to aspire to. 

First I would need a car.  Then I'd need to be able to have a way of paying for things, like gas.  Gas was really cheap when Nancy Drew was driving.  Then again, wages were low, too. 

Nancy Drew never had to worry about paying for things.  I don't recall that she had a job. Yet Nancy Drew never seemed to get paid for her sleuthing.

Maybe she went to college - for a long time.  She never aged.

I think she had a bottomless pocketbook full of dollars and change.  I'm quite sure her purse was called a pocketbook.  Maybe her adventures happened while on school breaks or vacations.

Maybe my August day in 2006 was a distant memory coming to life.

-I have a car.  It doesn't have a rumble seat but the back seat is best suited for stuff, not passengers.  That configuration was a very conscious decision when I bought the vehicle.

- I (fortunately) can pay for gas.

-My pocketbook of dollars and change takes the form of a backpack, credit cards, and stops at the ATM.  It is not bottomless.

-My suitcase is a Costco bag on wheels that gets through the if-it-fits-here-you-can-carry-it-on luggage shape at airport gates.

-Education?  It took me eight years to get a two year AA degree in Aviation Sciences.

-My hair is silver.  Nancy Drew is eternal youth.

On trip day I had numerous chores to complete at the house before I could leave.  I think Nancy Drew's housekeeper took care of her chores.  I  don't think she did her own laundry.  I'm grateful to have a wonderful washer and dryer.  Did she ever water the houseplants or take the garbage out?  Umm, I don't think so.

Leave on a moment's notice?  Not so much for me.  This little one night trip was planned weeks ahead.  I drove out the driveway from the house just six minutes after my targeted departure time.  Pretty good!  I left town two hours after I left the house!  Not as good.  There were numerous real estate duties I needed to complete for clients before I could leave in good conscience.

I don't know if Nancy Drew had any such duties to tend to before she got out of town.  But I do know for sure she didn't have an iPod hooked into a car stereo system blasting great music she could sing or weep along with while she drove her car to her next adventure.

Now five years later.  2011.

I've taken several road trips since then...mostly only a few days at a time, mostly between north and south CA, or a trip to Nevada to golf.

Selectively mindful of my years as a Girl Scout to "Be Prepared"  I now have a plastic storage bin that fits on a closet shelf stuffed with ziplock bags full of items to pick from for any given purpose should I need something for a trip.  That has minimized the 'gotta get more supplies' syndrome associated with the attempts at quick Nancy-Drew-getaways.  I mean really, how many tubes, sizes, and brands of toothpaste do I need?

I still don't have a full time housekeeper.  Never will.  Friends and local older kids check the house for me.

I still have the same car....eight years old now.  Gas is lots more expensive.

I dumped the Costco roller bag about four years ago for the best luggage I could find.  That indulgence was worth every cent.  I embraced the life lesson taught by a dear friend who spoke the sage advice "You only cry once."  She meant it's better to pay for quality and cry once than have to go back and pay for do-overs.

The iPod has morphed into an iPhone that includes the iPod.  I have more charger cords in the car because I also use a Bluetooth speaker I scream into, allowing me to keep my hands on the steering wheel while on the phone.

Sometimes I think it might be nice to have a traveling buddy once again.  But Nancy Drew seemed to manage without one so I suppose I can too.

Live richly,

marilyn

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