My maternal grandfather was not only a preacher; he pastored more than one church. In addition to the main congregation here in Georgia, he pastored in South Carolina, and he and my grandmother drove to that church faithfully every two weeks for 35 years so that he could carry out his duties. My favorite childhood memory of a summer road trip is that of an occasion when I accompanied them.
The drive to Anderson, South Carolina was roughly two hours or so. My grandmother would pack snacks, and I always had my favorite pillow and blanket with me. They were useful both in the summer and in the winter — in the winter because the air conditioner would be on full blast and the car would be exceptionally cold and in the summer because even though the heat would be on it felt good to nestle down under the covers. The car would always be filled with love and fellowship.
There was a point in the trip where we always crossed a long bridge that spanned over a broad expanse of water. Even though I was afraid of heights I loved seeing the beauty of the white-crested waves lapping against the shore and the azure reflection of sky in the water.
On this particular occasion my grandfather was driving at high speed trying to make efficient travel time. Just after we crossed the bridge I was jarred out of my idyllic state by the abrupt screech of brakes.
“What is that!” he exclaimed.
The object of which he spoke was situated squarely in the middle of the highway. It was large enough to do damage to an unprepared vehicle but small enough that it could easily be removed from the road.
“Is it a rock?” my grandmother asked.
They both opened the doors of the now stationary car so that they could get out and investigate.
“You stay in the car,” my grandmother sternly directed my way.
They both moved cautiously towards the object, and as they did so … it began to move. It was a huge turtle!
I perched precariously over the back of the front seat rapt with amazement at seeing a turtle this big for the very first time. He slowly began to make his way away from my grandparents and back towards the sanctuary of the shore. They stood aside to let him pass.
After about five minutes or so he was safely off of the road and we were able to resume our journey.
Now to the adult mind this may seem to be a small thing, but to a child it replays as a wonderfully exciting adventure. I will always remember that day. This is my absolute favorite childhood memory of a summer road trip.
Source: Personal experience