Friday, July 3, 2009

Sleepy in Ohio

Americans love the poems, in songs, anthems, and novels. And I'm no exception. I love being behind the wheel and generally am quite happy driving. The "windshield time" is wonderful for thinking, though those closest to me would probably tell you that more time devoted to deep thought is not always a good thing.

I wish I had more time to take the side roads and back roads as I head westward, there are so many places that you see from the turnpikes and highways that beckon the curious. Foxburg, PA, for example--from high above on the Penna Turnpike, it looks so charming nestled along the river. Or towns like Jersey Shore, PA, surely the shore in name only. But I always feel like I should check it out. Even Snow Shoe, PA...what inspired that as a town name? Is there a giant snowshoe of some sort? Again, I think I should investigate sometime. And today, likely because of the news of the car company bankruptcies, I really looked at the empty parking lots of the Chrysler and GM plants I passed in Lordstown and Toledo, Ohio. I'm always intrigued by the strength of names inherent in some Ohio towns: Lordstown, Strongsville, Youngstown. They all seem almost out of a comic book--the superhero's hometown. And yet, all face unimaginable challenges.

There's a lot to take in crossing the country. The stunning beauty of the verdant hills of Pennsylvania; the majesty and expanse of our great rivers (so far the Hudson, Susquehenna and Allegheny); and tonight, fireworks and bonfires. Side note on the bonfires/bbqs--there were enough that I thought maybe it was Guy Fawkes Night and I was in England. The fireworks, though were amazing. I started to see the shimmers of light as dusk approached, but by the time I was getting close to my chosen destination for the evening, the horizon was littered with explosions of myriad sizes, shapes, and colors. It was fantastic because it was so unexpected. (Yes, I'm aware it is the 4th of July wknd, but my hometowns have their big shindigs on the 4th.) At one point, scanning the horizon, I could see three different town or area fireworks displays.

At any rate, I'm grateful for safe travels thus far and wish the same to you all who are out there road-tripping with me.

Not to belabor the point about the nasty weather we've had in the NE lately, but wow was it nice to see a clear sky, a shining moon and a few stars tonight.

It's the little things, isn't it? God and the devil can both be in the details.

Safe holidays out there, travel well and enjoy this celebratory weekend.

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