On The Road
Definition of Road: A wide way leading from one place to another a long, narrow stretch with a smoothed or paved surface, made for traveling by motor vehicle, carriage, etc., between two or more points.
A series of events or a course of action that will lead to a particular outcome
The past few weeks my life has truly been On the Road. I added up and I have been over 7,000 miles in just a few short weeks. Some of the travel required getting on an airplane, while some was taking the metro rail system or Amtrak on the East Coast, there were always those eventful taxi cab rides but quite a bit of it was behind the wheel of vehicle and truly On the Road. Remember the famous song Willie Nelson sings “On the Road Again!” well that was my theme song for the past month. I feel so blessed to have a job that takes me to some very exciting places and some not so exciting places. You get to see city life, to rural America and everything in between. I have met all kinds of people with various shapes, sizes, ethnic background and various religious beliefs throughout our land. We truly are a melting pot of cultures blended into one nation that is founded on true freedom and I don’t ever want to take this for granted.
As I visited our nation’s capital again in Washington DC, I just look around in amazement. There is so much history and beautiful heartwarming memorials honoring our forefathers and people who sacrificed so much. Walking inside the buildings and viewing the walls of our congress gave me goose bumps. I had the privilege to speak with a few of our elected officials and their aides. I quickly realize those in office today are actually determining our future especially for our children and grandchildren. While they are creating laws that impact us on a daily basis, some are for a worthy cause while others I truly question. I continue to pray for this nation as I feel we are straying away from our deep Christian roots and what this country truly was founded upon. I am very disheartened from both sides of the aisle but I am not blogging politics this week, it is about being On the Road.
Out of all the travels I guess I like to be behind the wheel and On the Road it gives me more control of my destination or it may be the fact it is in my DNA as my Dad has driven a many a mile in his lifetime as well. Growing up we raised Quarter Horses and I remember quite a few trips we would be pulling a horse trailer to Oklahoma or Texas to breed the mares. Now pulling a horse trailer loaded with horses, you don’t get to make very many stops along the way, mainly to get gas and eat a quick bite. I remember the year they introduce the new pickup trucks with dual gas tanks. My Dad was a very happy camper meant we could go allot farther without having to stop.
I am so proud my parents are in good health and able to still travel. This past year my parents have taken a couple road trips. They live in the panhandle of Texas and each year for the past several years they go to an annual cattle sale in Sheridan, Wyoming which is an absolutely beautiful part of the country. After the sale Dad told Mom they would take a few extra days and venture west. I think Dad likes that saying, “Go west young man go west.” So off they went traveling through the northern part of the United States towards the west coast, making a few stops along the way, they saw many a country side, mountains, valleys and the Pacific Ocean. Then they headed back inland and south to Texas. For New Year’s they decided to take another road trip to the Big Bend area of Texas, spending a few days, they ate dinner at the original Reata Restaurant in Alpine, saw the vast beauty of the Rio Grande river and eventually then headed inland and ended up around Kingsville. They took a tour of the King Ranch, I was so happy they were able to do that and went on to Corpus Christi back up through Fredericksburg and headed back home. At their age they have decided it is much better to view things from the seat of their vehicle vs venturing out by foot, so they have named themselves “Windshield Tourists” which personally I think is very fitting and an ingenious title. I hope they plan more adventures this year…
After my east coast visit I got in my vehicle and have been touring West Texas and New Mexico for work, it was a hard couple of weeks with back to back meetings then getting in my vehicle and driving to the next location for more meetings before finding a hotel and catching a few zzzz’s. There were many a mile of wide open spaces and very dry flat land. They have the most beautiful sunrise and sunsets though. It has been such a harsh cold winter we actually started off with freezing snow and ice but on the tail end of the trip, I was excited to see the beginning stages of spring and warmer weather. The trees had buds that were starting to bloom; the grass had a hit of light green popping up. The beauty of the rebirth of the land coming to life….Have you stopped and “Takin Time Out” to notice these things? If you have not I strongly encourage you to do so. I know some of you sufferer with allergies and you may be dreading the March winds and pollen. Yes, I know it does leave a film of residue on our cars but overlook the negative and focus on the positive of a new season approaching. I LOVE SPRING! March winds bring April Showers which brings beautiful spring flowers…as I returned home I noticed a few tulips had popped up and have begun to bloom. I think it’s time to plan an outing to the Botanical Gardens with my girls and grandkids real soon.
God truly has created such beautiful textures, colors, snowfall, and sunshine, clear sky, cloudy days, rainy days each and every day is truly different and fascinating to me. Some are better than others but one thing I know I am very thankful for them all. Through the trials and tribulations we grow, we adapt we change and through the blessings and good times we relax and are able to truly enjoy all that we have.
I love taking in all that I can, I do have to laugh at a few of the road signs I pass by such as “Caution Ice on Bridge”, I think they flip those down and leave the whole winter as I didn’t see any ice on those bridges. The biggest challenge I find now is what is the real speed limit? For many of the interstate driving it is 75, there is a toll road outside of Austin you can go 80 and then you veer off and are on the country roads it is back down to 55, unless you a going through a very small town it is 35. Awareness kicks in and I try to pay attention but it can be hard sometimes when no one is On the Road.
Being On the Road is not all glory and glamour, it can take a toll on your mind, body and spirit if you allow it. The hotels sometimes have noise from the neighbors that come in at all hours of the night and bang the door shut or get up extremely early to shower and it interrupts your sleep, or the pillow is too hard, too flat, and too puffy and there were times I wished I had brought my own from home. But each day brought a new beginning and a new adventure.
I am a strong believer in “Takin Time Out” especially if you are under stress or tight schedules. We all need a little time to relax, get centered, and take a really deep belly breathe. Yoga stretches are great especially if you have been sitting for a long period of time and one of my biggest challenges is to drink plenty of water.
I think of Biblical times and how most of them traveled on old dusty roads by foot or donkey. Not able to shower or bathe daily. There were plenty of business and life changing events occur while folks were traveling and On the Road. One such set of scriptures comes from the New Testament when Saul was On the Road to Damascus, he was a very intelligent man but one who persecuted the Christians, after Jesus’ death, he was nearing Damascus and he suddenly found himself surrounded by a very bright light. He fell to the ground and heard a voice from the heavens say to him “Saul, Saul why do you persecute Me?” The voice was of Jesus Christ himself. The account is found in Acts chapter 9. This incredible conversation that followed brought Paul to the realization of his error Christianity was not a threat to the Jews but rather the fulfillment of all that they hold true. Saul, the man most Christians of the time may have considered to be somewhat of a monster had reach his day of conversion in no uncertain terms. He was literally knocked down on that road to Damascus and directly called by God. He thereafter became known at Paul.
What about you have you ever had a life changing event happen to you while traveling On the Road? Maybe an animal ran out in front of you, a buzzard crashes into your windshield, your life flashes before your eyes and you say a little prayer of thanksgiving you were ok. Maybe the Lord spoke to you while being On the Road of changes you need to make in your life, did you follow through or are you still pondering all the reasons why not? Perhaps you have had a more tragic event happen, a precious loved one killed in an accident or maimed for life. These are all real life situations that happen every day. I am very thankful for my safe return home, lessons learned along the way but also for the time I had while traveling “On the Road” as it teaches me to appreciate more of the simple things in life and I realize just as Dorothy did in the Wizard of Oz…”There is No Place Like Home!”
Until next time my dear friends….whether you find yourself On the Road or returning home from travels of Spring Break…no matter where you are or what you are doing, you enjoy this fresh new beginning and season of Spring and “Takin Time Out” to feed your mind, body and soul…and as Yogi Berra once said “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”