Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Of travel I've had my share, man. I've been everywhere. ~ Johnny Cash
You know, I've always loved America. I have always felt so fortunate and so blessed to have been born and raised here. Even with all of its political and financial woes in recent years it is, in my humble opinion, still the best country in the world. In this past year I've had the wonderful opportunity to do a lot of traveling around the upper Midwest and each time Dear Hubby and I venture out into some more unknown territory it's such a thrill to discover even more of what makes this country so great. The diversity of the region...the people...the beauty...the sheer size of it...continues to overwhelm me. I have gone places and seen things I never dreamed I would ever see in my lifetime. Living here has opened my eyes to just how limited my horizons were living on the West Coast. But they were my limitations. I just didn't feel the need to travel around it much. California didn't seem that much different from Oregon, which in turn didn't seem that much different from Washington. The terrain and climates might have varied a bit, but to me the people in the west are pretty much the same up and down the Pacific Coast. But once you come in to the true heartland of America, even in one state there can be so much variety. For instance, northern Ohio and Pennsylvania seem so much more 'northern' until you get down towards their borders that they share with West Virginia and Kentucky. There you begin to hear a more southern flavor to their speech. At a restaurant a waitress asked me if I wanted grits with my breakfast meal. Living here is so much more vastly different than vacationing here. The more I see, the more I want to get out and discover.
Dear Hubby and I were out on the road again recently towards the south to see what that was like. We stopped at a farm and were looking thru some things for sale in the barn. There were a lot of farmers there and I got taken up in just observing them. Some were in their 70s and 80s and were still strong, solid men...the salt of the earth. You could tell they've spent their lives working out in the elements with their leathery wind-burnt skin, their faces etched in lines. I had such a sweet thing happen to me there. One of the farmers, an older gentleman probably in his 80s, had come in and was looking around. All of a sudden he began patting his pockets and he said, "Oh dear! I can't find my cell phone! It must have dropped out of one of my pockets!" so Dear Hubby and I began looking around with him to see if we could help him find it. Then Dear Hubby came up with the brilliant idea of calling the gentleman's phone so we did. The ringer was set so low we could barely hear it but I kept tracing the sound and finally found the phone sitting in a pile of stuff off to the side. The gentleman was so appreciative...he said he couldn't understand why the ringer was so low because he's so hard of hearing he couldn't even hear it, haha! After thanking us he wandered off out of the barn and I heard another farmer ask him, "Did you find your phone?" and he replied, "Why, yes I did! That sweet little girl in there helped me find it!" That just touched my heart. I am a silvery-haired 58 year old woman and it's been a long time since someone has called me 'little girl'.
So...my love affair with middle America continues. Every time we hop in the car is like setting off on a brand new adventure! And I, for one, can't get enough of it.