Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ruby Johnson: Driving Home For Christmas

 Ruby Johnson is the blog coordinator for Greater Fort Worth Writers and is an active member of the GFW Writers critique group. As a nurse anesthetist she has won many awards including the Agatha Hodgins award, a coveted award for excellence in anesthesiology and leadership. She practiced anesthesia in several states and countries before finally settling in Texas. She said she has spent her career putting people to sleep with drugs, now she's trying to keep them awake with words. She is published in professional journals(including AANA Journal, and Hospital Topics) and has contributed to a book on Hospital Management. Friend her on P Johnson and follow her on

Every year since I left for College, I've been on the road during the holidays. At first, it was traveling home to my parent's home for Christmas. Then I got married and moved out of state. First we drove 12-15 hours to my inlaw's home for Christmas Eve. They always attended church, then had dinner. The next day after opening presents, we drove another two hours to my parents home for Christmas Dinner at two o'clock. Then we stopped at my sister's home for dinner at seven o'clock. Finally we got back to my inlaw's home and started our long trek home a day or two after christmas. Then we moved out of the country and for years spent time flying then driving after we got to the US. Nowadays, I either travel to my daughter's house in NC or they come here. More often I go there, either driving or flying. I once enjoyed traveling. Today, it isn't the fun it used to be with the long lines, security, cancelations, delays, screaming children, uncomfortable seats—you name it. Still we can't get to other places to be with family unless we are willing to travel be it car, train, or plane.
If you're driving somewhere the planning is almost the same with the addition of food . Where will you be for lunch and dinner? Will you eat one meal in a restuarant? By doing a little planning you can have a nutritious meal.

If you're traveling with children, it's important to remember that they can't handle sandwiches if the ingredients have a tendency to slide out or if it is thick. Forget things that are going to stain the seats and floors of the car/van. Drinks with a cherry color just seem to gravitate to the carpet. Juice boxes which don't leak are perfect.

When planning snacks and meals for adults and children, think of things that don't need refrigeration:
cherry tomatoes
fruit cups
canned fruit salad
tuna snacks
In ziplock bags: cheerios, granola, nuts, dried fruits, trail mix, oatmeal cookies.
peanut butter sandwich
salt, pepper

To a cooler add:
boiled eggs
chicken wings
pimento cheese sandwiches
luncheon meat sandwiches
tortilla-cream cheese sandwich. (Mix cream cheese with nuts and dried fruit like pineapple and roll up like an enchilada.)
cheese sticks
salads in containers
carrot sticks
celery sticks
ranch dressing
cream cheese dressing (add honey and cinnamon)
If you forget to get those little individual servings of mayo and ketchup. Add them.

Don't forget:
hand sanitizer
baby wipes
disposable plates, bowls, forks, spoons
napkins, paper towels
Toilet paper

Of course you may not need all of these things, but it will give you some ideas for food.  What do you take on a road trip?

If you travel a lot, you may find the following video meaningful as I do.
 I hope you enjoy it. Happy Holidays!


C. A. Szarek said...

My in-laws live in PA so I am intimately familiar with the LOOOONGGGG Drive. Have a good trip! :) Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

Anonymous said...

hi just registered ,, tina

J.A. Bennett said...

Great tips for the kiddo's Ruby! Thanks for sharing :)

Caroline Clemmons said...

We used to drive from DFW to Lubbock each holiday. Went so often we knew when a farmer got a new tractor, painted the house, or had a new truck. :-0 Thank goodness we can remain at home now and our daughters come here. I love to travel, but not on holidays. Sadly, neither of our daughters is married or has kids, so it's just the four of us. Hope your Christmas is a merry one, Ruby!

Jeff Turner said...

I like the list of food, sounds like stuff I have packed for a long drive.

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