Moving on down the Road

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I like to travel, really I do. This may come in part from the fact that both of my parents were walkers. Some of my earliest memories are of our walking in parks or in the neighborhood. But if you couldn’t walk, a bicycle or a car would do.

When I was very small, we would all pile in the ’58 Ford Fairlane 500 while it was still dark and take off to Fairmont, West Virginia, where both of my parents were born, or to Bridgeton, New Jersey, where I was born and my father’s parents still lived. In the early years, we took the Ohio Turnpike to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. We seldom bought anything but gas and the occasional bottle of Orange Crush. I do remember being fascinated with the vending machines in the restrooms of the service plazas. They held little mending kits and those little games (do you remember?), the ones that had brass balls that you juggled into little dimples in the games or tiles that you moved around to make a face or complete a puzzle. Things I didn’t see anywhere else. The fluorescent lights at the plazas made everything look metallic and surreal, especially in the dark.

Then there was the feel of the car. As a child, of course, I was relegated to the backseat which was…not cold…but not toasty like the front seat, either. I was normally sandwiched between my brother and my sister. There were no DVD players in cars then, of course, and I spent much of the time on our trips with my nose pressed to the window, watching the world go by.

My dad took us lots of places. We went to see relatives like everyone did back then. Dad took us to Washington, D.C., a couple of times, and my older sister and I walked down the steps in the Washington Monument. We went all over West Virginia, to the Cass Scenic Railway, Seneca Caverns, Cooper’s Rock and Blackwater Falls. We went to Niagara Falls, the Thousand Islands, Storybook Gardens and, perhaps my favorite because I was taking French at the time, Ile d’Orleans. My grandparents’ move to Florida found us at Spook Hill, Bok Singing Tower, Silver Springs and, of course, Disney World, long before Epcot or Paramount Studios were there.

Then I got married. The hubby is the one who took me west of the Mississippi. My parents lived in Montana when my older brother and sister were small, but that was pre-me. It was the hubby who took me to St. Louis where I found out you could go inside the Arch, to Yellowstone, Yosemite and up the Pacific Coast Highway.

Sometimes I travel even in my dreams. I have this recurring dream that I’m walking in the country, but it’s unfamiliar to me. The feel of the dream, is always comfortable. I am awed by the scenery and looking forward to what’s around the next bend in the road. Route 66 is sometimes called the mother road, but I like to think of my dream as my being on the Father’s road. The course is beautiful, and I hope I will always look ahead, until I get to that place where I call call home. Until then, there’s a whole lot of the Father’s creation to be seen!

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