Today I did something I do about every week…I drove to Pullman. My hybrid schedule generously allows me to work from home four days per week. On that other day I make the 90-mile drive to Washington State University’s flagship campus to work from my office.
The drive is about an hour and 45 minutes one way so that equates to a roughly 3.5-hour roundtrip. So how do I pass the time?…
By driving, duh!
Okay, that was a bad joke. In all honesty, I do a lot while cruising my Ford Escape down U.S. 195. In fact, I thought I would share what occupies me as I drive through the wheat fields of the Palouse. In no particular order, here are 10 things I do…
Relax – If the weather is decent, the ride is therapeutic. I take advantage of the peace and quiet and enjoy the time in my warm car.
Try Not to Die – Conversely, road conditions can make the trip not so fun. I have battled snow, rain, fog, and ice during the past several months—sometimes individually and sometimes all at once. In these situations, you just have to go slow and concentrate on the task at hand.
Plan the Day – I go through my schedule for the day and plan how I will best utilize my time during my lone weekly appearance on the WSU Pullman campus.
Faith-Building – I listen to EWTN and the Catholic Channel a lot. I usually start my drive with Gus Lloyd and on the way home at night I listen to old Mother Angelica episodes.
The News – Besides the Catholic-related content, there is a point during my drive to Pullman that I choose one of the major cable news radio stations and become informed of the daily news. This is always a great supplement to my newspaper subscription and healthy diet of news I get online.
Amped Up – It is important to be awake and alert at the wheel. For this reason, I crack open an energy drink whenever I make the drive. Because I am not a regular consumer of caffeine, the Rockstar I drink on these mornings not only provides me with enough energy for the drive to Pullman but it sticks around for my return trip to Spokane as well.
Scenery – Some people might think the drive from Spokane to Pullman is a bore, but every now and then you see some beautiful landscapes. I have seen both spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Seeing such gorgeous colors hit differently early in the morning or going home after a long (but productive) day.
Rehearse – If I have a presentation coming up, the drive is the perfect time to rehearse portions of it. In the past, I have been able to really drill down certain speeches while behind the wheel.
Tunes – Trust me, I use my satellite radio for musical purposes too. However, I do use it sparingly. On my way to campus, I listen to music from the time I hit Colfax to the moment I park my car. Those 20 minutes allow me to have my own little jam session.
Ring, Ring – When I am about 15 miles out of Spokane on my return trip, I will make some phone calls. I alert my wife that I am almost home and I will also try to get in touch with a family member (mom, dad, sibling) just to say “hey.” It makes the last leg of the trip breeze by.
I thank God and St. Christopher for the many safe travels I have had between Spokane and Pullman. I also thank SiriusXM for the entertainment factor. Don’t Blink.