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Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Scenic Route


"For fast acting relief, try slowing down." Lily Tomlin

In 1964 my 32-year old mom loaded up her five kids into the Oldsmobile Station Wagon and drove Route 66 from Los Angeles to her Aunt Irene's in Springfield, Illinois. I was five and only remember a few moments which have become ingrained in the family story... leaving my older brother behind at a gas station ("Really Mom, Rick isn't here!"), trying to pay for a motel with an out-of-state check ("Lady, here's a stack of out of state checks returned by the bank. We accept cash."), and celebrating another brother's birthday with a candle on a glazed donut.

There is a current relevance to my musing. A friend just drove my car from LA to Chicago on Route 66 and I will be driving it home in a couple weeks. His purpose in making the trip was to get off the superhighway... both actually and metaphorically... and slow down a bit, take in the sights, breathe the desert air, and perhaps find a part of himself in the process.

I don't have quite the esoteric motivation. I just like a good road trip... but it's worth the question... "What is it I want to have happen?"