Drive Time

Every morning at 7:20 am, I start my commute to work. On paper, it should take no longer than 30 minutes door to door. In reality, the traffic, school and Septa buses and construction areas bump that time up to 45-50 minutes. I have a lot of time on my hands, so I try to make the best of it.

Thankfully, I have a lot of options for my listening pleasure, but local morning radio is truly my last resort. The local stations consist of either talk radio or the music my children enjoy. There is also a lot of gimmicks, contests, and my least favorite thing, prank phone calls on unsuspecting people. My kids have joked about doing this to me, but I’m hoping they know better. The only exception I make for local radio is the traffic report as I get closer to work. One accident on Lincoln Drive could easily add an extra 45 minutes to my ride.

With all of the options XM radio has to offer, there are some days where traffic is not a burden. The soundtrack of my childhood can be found on multiple stations. This month, the Billy Joel channel creates a concert-like atmosphere in my car. I am not above belting out the lyrics to My Life or performing a piano solo on my steering wheel to Angry Young Man. I’m sure the other commuters get a kick out of my highly choreographed, driver-side dance routines.

And thanks to my daughter setting up Apple CarPlay for me, I may never leave my car. My ears are wide open to the plethora of podcasts that are now available to me. I can only truly appreciate the wisdom of Mignon Fogarty’s Grammar Girl and Jonathan Small’s Write About Now in the privacy of my SUV. I can’t exactly blast Magic Lessons by Elizabeth Gilbert from the Alexa in the house without someone raising an eyebrow.

When I pull into my parking space, I breathe a heavy sigh because the fun is now over. I must go and do all the responsible things. But then I smile, knowing I’ll be back for an encore on the drive home.


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