Today, I am thankful that all the relatives I travel to see live within driving distance.
I'm happy to not have to go through airport security. I'm happy that even from Springfield, the drive to Tulsa and NW Arkansas is bearable. That we could drive to OKC from Springfield if needed, with a stop to stretch on the way.
Of course, living in Tulsa currently, the drive to Tulsa anywhere in/around Tulsa is short (10 to 15 minutes, in general). In roughly 2 hours, I can be at my dad's house or visiting my sister in OKC. We can make day trips to either one. And 2 hours alone with Ace is nice.
We have no question that one of us will be screened or patted down by driving. There are no screaming babies or kids kicking our seats (at least, none yet). We can leave our cell phones on and use other electronic devices (such as an iPod). If I take my shoes off, it's because I want to, not because I need to let them get x-rayed.
It's nice to know that we live close enough to drive, that flying would actually take us longer than driving. It's nice to know that our only delays are the ones we make for ourselves. Our privacy isn't invaded. No one checks our luggage/pats us down/x-rays us. We can buy whatever we want to drink from wherever we want to. And at the end of our trip, I'm not exhausted just from getting through the airports, so I can enjoy spending time with family or I can enjoy being home again.
So, I'm thankful for being within driving distance of my family. Because right now, the idea of flying somewhere isn't appealing.