Yesterday was a long day as we took an unexpected road trip to Southern NH. We avoid any travel through and around Boston especially, because basically the sprawl continues to creep. Ever further, bringing with it more waves of vehicles, including trucks of all sizes and kinds (the heavy equipment trucks are the scariest because who knows how much training the drivers even get, what with the CDL Driver shortage, and the rush to “get it done.”), literally blowing by us when we ourselves are admittedly already over the speed limit at 70-80mph. LOL, and if you saw the state of the roads, and the crumbling bridges you hold your breath on, and under, you wonder why in the name of heaven would there be talk of building more roads, new exits and so on, when we don’t even maintain what we have. No, travel in most of Massachusetts, and anyplace “progress” continues to encroach, is no longer an enjoyable pursuit like the old “Sunday drive.” Not much country left here in this state, and the bits that are left still see their share of amped up, impatient drivers blasting through a “shortcut” to another place. And, while it wasn’t rush hour, man, I tell ya, a road trip through and around Boston to go out of state to pick up your son after you bail him out of jail makes for one hair-raising kind of day. Huh, and that’s just the state of our roads. On my son’s most recent manic “adventure” last Labor Day weekend, he drove cross-country to California in a jalopy of a truck we truly believed wouldn’t make it, but did; and wandered the streets of L.A. for the better part of a month trying to get said truck back from the company that had towed it, while borrowing money to get by until he received his October check, at which time he rented a U-haul van and drove back home. It was a relief to know he was finally safe, even if it was just his RV in the woods. But where we live and its lack of public transportation, you really do need a car, especially if you live in the woods, and all this time we’ve been thinking he’s either borrowing a friend’s vehicle, or must’ve found another wreck to fix up, he’s been driving the frickin’ U-haul, with the idea he’d return it at some point. This is the reality of living with mental illness, whether your own, or a beloved family member’s, in this case both. I’m fortunate in that I’ve had lifelong insight, recognition and acceptance of my own. My son does not. Doesn’t recognize when he’s manic and delusional. Bipolar Disorder with Psychosis. Why couldn’t it just be plain old Major Depressive Disorder? At least it wouldn’t get him in so much trouble. So many of those who suffer from mental illness end up in the criminal justice system, and that in itself is a crime. Between the harrowing ride up to NH, our first hour locked in a cinder block cell-like waiting room, cell phones forbidden, no public rest rooms (we asked); finally asking if we could sit in our car (ring buzzer, speak through intercom, hope for prompt response — staff were polite and relatively prompt, I’ll give them that) because we were wearing our coats and still freezing in there, our dog was in the car, and at least we’d be somewhat comfortable while we waited another two hours for the one Bail Commissioner who travels the State posting bail for others to finish work elsewhere, as well as eat his lunch, before we were finally able to return home — during metro-Boston rush hour. It was a punishing day all-around, and a welcome relief to get home. Just another one of those days, not uncommon in the span of my lifetime so far.