Heart to Heart 117

Road trip

Lou Ann and I are going on a three week road trip to see most of our children and grandchildren in Northern Virginia.  We are a well balanced traveling couple.  I really love to drive and she is a wonderful co-pilot and guide.

When I grew up in Southern California, my parents and my older brother Bob took a trip back to Cincinnati, where I was born.  I loved being in the back seat with the window rolled down and sniffing the air like a puppy.  I kept a travel journal and recorded every body of water that we went by or went over on a bridge.  I remember the times when we would stop at a restaurant and I would order a hamburger with nothing on it.  The server would exclaim”nothing on it? and I would feel “less than”, like I was broken and needed fixing.

One time we went up the California coast to visit my oldest brother Bud who was in training for the Korean conflict.  On the way back, I got sick and threw up all over my mother’s new sweater.  We passed by a coastal town called Pismo Beach.  My mother asked my dad where they came up with that name and I replied “cuz that’s where people pis-mo!  The car erupted with laughter and my mom kind of forgot about me messing up her sweater.

When I lived in Maryland and Virginia between 1969 and 1973 my four kids and their mom took three cross country trips in large station wagons.  I would take a different route each time to show them this amazing country of ours.  The trip would last three weeks and we would travel about seven thousand miles and lot’s of MacDonald’s. We went to most of the National parks and we got to go to almost all the contiguous states.  It was a lot of fun.  I would point out a lot of the historic points of interest and the kids wanted to know if our next motel had a swimming pool and if it was near hamburgers.  Sometimes I would wonder if it was just for me and they were going because they had to.  Then when they became adults they told me how much they enjoyed the trips and remembered a lot of the places that I wanted them to see.

Most of my life I have been very patriotic and would get goose bumps when pledging allegiance or singing the National Anthem.  Now, I still love this country and I also know how flawed we are as well. Still, when we leave on Tuesday morning I will be in a joyful place. We will be seeing this great land all over again and connecting with folks of different nationalities and beliefs.  And I still believe that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all people are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  I will share with you as we cross our beautiful country in the next few weeks.  From my pioneering heart to yours, Thomas

 

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