I recently returned from visiting Illinois for a couple of weeks. My friends and family joyously treated and greeted me with love, it was so good to see that all were well, including Grandma. My daughters put up with me and I in return for their hospitality- cooked and cleaned and tried to make sure they were fed some of the good meals they love. Within a couple of days though, it became apparent to me that their lives were best led by them, their nutritional needs were no longer any of my business and their casa was my casa as long as I respected their authority. My oh my, how the tables have turned. My Mathew was genuinely happy to have me around, visiting and talking as we have never done before. I try to follow his personal philosophy, but the young man is a bit deeper than I can follow at times. Our conversations were rich and I grew happier inside each time we were together, thinking how interesting his concepts- he really gave me food for thought and I long for and love those talks. I tried to put myself in the younger sects shoes and realized honestly, I did not have that much going on upstairs at their age. But from where I sit now, after years of experience and misadventures, I could teach them a thing or two- though it is their own drum they hear now, and the beat is foreign to me. Generation gap indeed. (Their jokes are not funny to me, the movies they find fascinating leave me scratching my head and yawning. And the music..."It's not that I'm old, your music really does suck." My favorite bumper sticker, long past it's sticky prime- wish I could find another and paste it for all the world to see.) ***with the exception of Bon Iver, I must say there is something about the music that gets under your skin and seeps even deeper...I like it, I like it.
Traveling from Maine to Illinois takes a bit of caffeine, good tunes and a willingness to put up with certain states with their certain drivers and wonder if the genes of conscientiousness and consideration were perhaps left in a corner behind a door by the creator. In all the times I've traveled through Massachusetts, I have yet to meet many* who smile easily. And when it comes to traffic pile ups and getting over or moving aside so another car can fit in- in my own personal experiences, I can't help but wonder if that smile might surface if only your car would crash and burn, bringing a dark joy to the seemingly joyless. *I will say, one lovely toll booth operator towards the end of my Mass Pike experience came out of his shack, smiling and talking all the while- and replaced my gas cap as I must have half hazardously twisted it on at the previous gas stop. He must have thought I was a mute, all I could do was stare at him with great wonder, finally offering-"I do not mean to offend, but you are very kind. I don't find that much in these parts." He laughed and said people say that all the time, matter of fact- he said he was the only one good egg for hundreds of miles. Then he called me sweetie and wished me well. Angels among us folks, angels among us.
Truck drivers are the travel agents from heaven. Need a new route? Wonder what's up ahead worth getting off the main drag to see? Ask a truck driver. Not only will they tell you, they'll make you get your Atlas out while they scratch your dog's ears, help you flip to the right page and hold the page down in wind gusts while tracing with their fingers the most beautiful of drives. And the restaurants they prescribe are always spot on. And on top of all of that- should they see you trapped behind slow drivers in fast lanes, they'll set a pick and let you pass. Truck drivers, good eggs.
One last traveling remark...route 20, Chautauqua County Western New York. Go. Truck driver recommended & true wonder approved. A beautiful reprieve from the turnpike, a blood pressure decrease r, an anxiety elixir, wine country and farms galore, unforgettable landscapes, slow lane, waitresses that call you "hon", ooohhhh I love that!