As I prepared for and took a recent trip, so many lessons I’d learned years ago stuck with me:
- Be aware of the weather, not only where you are or where you’re going but the in between.
- Consider the time frames, not just the now. Temps change. Road conditions change. Traffic changes.
- Be prepared. Keep important items easily accessible, not to grab when driving but to reach if a problem arises. Accessing packed items in a suitcase isn’t easy or even possible in an emergency.
- Prepare the car. Check the tires. Keep the fuel above a half tank. Fill the windshield fluid with de-icer.
- Keep space between you and other cars when possible. Consider the extra time it takes to stop during winter conditions.
- Carefully monitor speed and momentum when going up and down hills on slick roads. Gently touch the brakes to slow—but not when on a bridge or overpass.
When I consider each of these lessons I learned in the past, I primarily hear my dad’s instructions and reminders, or I remember watching him apply what he taught. Each lesson gives me comfort more than stress. One way or another, I’ve learned the reliability of each lesson. I trusted him. He could be goofy and annoying at times, but when it came to practical life advice, he spoke simply and truthfully. He didn’t waste advice. He said what needed to be said. And many of his words have stuck with me.
There’s a lot of advice available to us. To what and whom do we listen—or ignore? Why and how do we give advice? Let’s be reliable, focused, and humble—whether giving or receiving. And let’s remember what needs to be repeatedly applied.