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On the road again...

June 7, 2012

On the road again ... just can’t wait to get on the road again.
What is it about a road trip that is so inviting? Nobody really enjoys sitting for long periods of time. Conversations taper off after about the first two hours. Roads inevitably will have construction going on, someone’s going to have to stop to use the restroom, and at least one driver is sure to make the traveler cringe or curse.
Maybe its a nomadic instinct, our bodies thinking we are off to new and better things — even if it is for only a weekend or an overnighter. Nonetheless, we get all happy with the packing, the planning and once that gas tank is filled... look out because we are on the road!
If you are traveling in Indiana (which I do a lot — my job alone ranges in 50 to 150 miles per pay period — and that’s not to and from the office) being the passenger leaves much to be desired (unless its autumn) because any other time of the year — contrary to the saying “There’s more than corn in Indiana” there isn’t a whole lot more. You have trees, farmland, gas stations, horses, cows, rusted-out vehicles, you local club posts and of course Waffle Houses.
The smaller towns share similar features. There’s normally a garage sale, a gas station, a vehicle for sale (usually a pickup truck), deflated pools in someone’s yard, a clothesline full of freshly-laundered clothing, and usually one can find at least three churches for every 300 people. I like looking for the unique, so I value cluttered cemeteries where I can try to catch a glimpse of an interesting pillar and I watch for mailboxes shaped like things other than a receptacle for holding the local squeak. On a decent day you’ll see horses frolicking, a child playing on a swing set, and someone can always be found mowing a lawn.
Hoosiers I’ve found are a very proud people. They may have a pile of various-sized tires being grown over in the yard, but by golly they have their pristine team or player, or car’s flag or sign posted like an official stamp of approval. This time out, headed to Terre Haute to watch my daughter compete in the state-level Special Olympics games, I noticed that some people apparently didn’t realize it was the month of June even though NASCAR and baseball have been well under way for some time. Either that or maybe many area towns’ ladders have been deemed outlawed because the houses have Christmas lights.
I can sympathize with the lazy-logical factor which I also use when the subject of bed-making comes up in conversation. What’s the point of making it all up prim and tight when I’m just going to get back in it and tear it all up? Because it looks nicer you say? Well, nobody is touring my bedroom and no magazine photographer is doing a layout on my non-matching bed linens so why waste the time?
But really. Christmas lights? Why not leave your Easter or Valentine decorations up for their respective holidays? There is a certain mobile home in Elkhart that I pass by often and if I’ve thought it a once, I’ve thought to a thousand times, knock on the door to ask why they have decorations up in a collage of typically-celebrated holidays. There are Christmas lights and there are red hearts. They have pastel strung plastic eggs and a pumpkin, all looking as if the holiday fairies all showed up on the same day and time looked at each other quizzically, shook their dead date organizers, shrugged, and then left their respective related images and went on their way. I first believed that the person might be elderly, and might not really want or be able to periodically change decor but nope. I noticed fresh, sparkling, heart-shaped things this last February.
Beyond Elkhart though, throughout the wild green that is Indiana Hoosier-dom things look pretty much the same. This time however, we are exploring with our own house on wheels. We decided to invest in the luxury because it was the right thing at the right time at the right price. Sure, we could spend our money on other things like food out at restaurants or hotel rooms. Instead we chose to spend it on gas for the behemoth that houses us so nicely while we travel to my son’s baseball games. We could be using the money to fix up our Money Pit but at this time in our lives, what’s the point? We are either working, running, or sleeping so it’s not like we even see the place much anyway.
My husband has earthly calls of Turkey Run in his blood from his childhood days while I have the fresh smell of room service flowing through my veins. A honeymoon in Turkey Run followed by a couple disastrous camping trips proved we could only stay married if we vacationed separately or bought an RV at some point. Think Mrs. Gabor on Green Acres and Bear Grylls. Seriously, we might’ve been a great reality show but wouldn’t have entertained for long — being cut after four or five episodes for one of us murdering the other over the way the tent was positioned atop a stick.

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