It takes about 3 hours for us to get home from my mom's house. In those 3 hours so many things happen that while some might think this is a long drive, at least long enough to be a challenge, it is really an opportunity to grow our marriage.
You see, the return from "up north" is usually in the dark with the 3 children sleeping or fighting sleep. It is time to talk, time to discuss all those things we have to do, we need to do, would like to do...all the stuff that troubles us, pleases us, annoys us, makes up feel any number of emotions. It is time for me to direct my attention at my wife, pausing from time to time to turn left or stop at a light. I take care to make sure I watch my speed (if I slip she is there to let me know) and pay attention to traffic. But I also use the trip to tell her things I think and feel, and she does the same.
It is a chance to just take a deep breath. I do not talk on a cell phone or listen to a GPS unit. We normally listen to a CD but only loud enough to faintly hear the words. We talk softly, sometimes we debate, sometimes we laugh, sometimes we make fun of another driver...
She knows I enjoy the time, she often gets upset with me here at home because my attention is not fully captured if the TV is on or the kids are awake or other interference is present, so I think she likes the time as well. I do not always remember the things she tells me but I try.
Visiting family is a joy but the drive...those 3 hours...priceless time to spend with my beautiful bride.