It is high school graduation time, so I’m heading to Minnesota to celebrate with a goddaughter and a godson.  I stopped to see Kevin’s mom on the way and had a great visit. I’ll be seeing my siblings soon and am anticipating that our annual birthday bash will live up our expectations (tattoos on the agenda this time).

 

It’s a long drive from Virginia, as in DAYS long. But I’m glad I drove, especially this time of year. Except for the occasional dark skies and thunderstorms.  I love the green fields, the farmsteads, the cows, the tractors. It’s all so peaceful looking, so wholesome, so natural. And the vistas are wonderful – you can see for miles. One frustration I’ve had in Virginia is that all the trees mean you can’t see much. It’s not exactly claustrophobic, but it doesn’t inspire me to breathe deeply and relax the way the wide open spaces do.

Another great thing about a road trip is the time to empty out the brain and let the mind wander…while paying attention to the driving, of course. At home, I  rarely take long stretches of time to not think, or to daydream about what I’m seeing – to put on my Observer hat. No judgments, just seeing what there is to see. It’s really quite freeing to see without analyzing or labeling or judging.

The closer I get to “home,” the better I feel. I miss my furry boys and kind of wish I had brought them. But it’s better for them to stay with the house sitter. Less stress for all of us. I see the Craftsman and farm style houses and wish I had one, with gleaming wood floors, built-in cabinets, and warm fuzzy feelings all around. I definitely like my current house a lot, don’t get me wrong. Maybe it’s just the nostalgia or homesickness talking; give me one winter up north and I would maybe change my thoughts quickly! And, to0,  I suppose after several days of 24/7 sibling time, I’ll be ready to get back to my own place.

It’s been interesting to drive through places Kevin and I have been. I caught myself talking to him in the car, saying things like, “Remember when we went there and had those Maid-Rites that you bragged about and I didn’t like?” Or, “Remember when we were almost in that tornado and I was freaking out? This rain reminds me of that.”  I am sure when I eat some good walleye I’ll tell  him about that, too;  it was one of our favorite meals.

We used to do a lot of road tripping – to Saskatoon, Canada; to Maine for lobster and to see the fall colors; to Arkansas to ride motorcycles; to Florida to see family; and countless trips to Minnesota and Iowa from South Dakota. I have also driven solo to New Mexico and Colorado a few times, plus the moving trip to Virginia. It never gets old to see the country – and off of the Interstates.  I’m happy that my GyPSy gives me an “alternate route” option so I can slow the pace down some.

I can remember and say those things without crying now.  I am healing.

PS-here’s a shot of Ida, the ice cream clerk in a small town I stopped at in Indiana. She was so Midwestern Nice: helpful, offering different cone and cup styles, and checking to see which scoop I wanted on the bottom: the dark cherry or the vanilla.  She acted like I had known her forever. Ida

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