The sun beats down hot and heavy, as grass that has overstepped its boundaries is mowed into place. Two weeks on the road and everything has become leggy and is stretching out for more territory.   For two weeks Doc and I drove from Montgomery, AL to New York City,  trying to see as many people as we could along the way.  Some were family and others were dear friends from the past, now transplanted in new territory.  Many were online friends who I loved introducing to Doc as we met in real life.


Elizabeth Marshall, Me and Shelly Miller


Doc and Me


Doc and his Daughter


Doc and his lobster


Leisha Epperson


Mary Bonner IMG_1007

Susan Stilwell


A few of the Writers from Outside the City Gates Tammy Hendricksmeyer, Nacole Simmons, Paula Gamble, Lindsey Hartz, and Amy BreitmannIMG_0269 The trip was long and beautiful, stressful, then peaceful; and, I would jump into the car with Doc tomorrow if we could go again.

For two weeks we were together 24/7; and, I can tell you there were a couple of times our patience with each other was tested; and we didn’t always pass with flying color! But, then apologies were exchanged and tender moments found. The tears in the fabric of our peaceful relationship was once again mended.   How many times have we mended the fabric of our marriage and kept going?

Two weeks together in a car, when all the conversation that is possible  has happened and you become comfortable in the quiet – just knowing he is there is enough.   Occasionally, while listening to a local NPR station, one of us would burst out laughing as the other tried to listen to the rest of the story – then, we would talk about, it sharing our different points of view.

Marriage is like the practice of medicine, it is something you must continue to practice and learn about to make it good.

14 days, 8 destinations, 26+ hugged necks, and 2,600 miles later and the “online friends in real life” tour has come to an end.   Because of the miles together my marriage is sweeter, and because of the effort others made to meet us in community for dinner or open a room to us, our relationships are closer, then I hope we can make this same trip again next year, but only time will tell.

Tell me about your summer trips this year in the comments below.

 Linking with Laura Kelli, Jen

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Diane W. Bailey is the founder of The Consilium – an online community of wisdom and purpose for women over 45 years of age. She is a published author. Her books include String of Pearls – From Tears to Treasure, and 30 Days To A Better Stepfamily. She creates her own line of precious metals bracelets. Diane lives in the Deep South with her husband Doc. Together they have created a stepfamily, each having two stepchildren and two birth children, and share three grandchildren, one black lab named Charlie and one long haired tabby cat named Lil Girl. Diane’s passion is to encourage women to be all God has created them to be by pressing past fear and daring to live life as an adventure. Some of her life adventures include traveling to Israel, speaking, entrepreneurship and backyard farming with Doc. She loves Gumbo, fried shrimp and seeing all sunsets across water.

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