“I don’t know what it is about the open road that makes it so appealing. Maybe its because when you’re headed somewhere, you don’t have to be where you’ve already been.” ~ Steve Hofstetter
November 9, 2016 The winds finally died down in the wee hours of the morning, and the collective sigh of relief, could be heard across the land, as the cyclone of an election finally had come to an end. The citizens and immigrants and visitors caught in the crossfire, wandered outside to survey the damage and hoped that the new President and the defeated opponent, had shaken hands and began the clean up. But to their dismay and not a bit of a surprise, a new political storm was already bearing down.
But the 1st Wednesday of this November will be different
by David Luntz
The Drive Before The 1st Tuesday of November
by Kendall F. Person
Heading south from British Columbia Canada, Blaine Washington, located right on the border serves as the welcoming committee to the United States. The Pacific Northwest may endure a nine-month stretch of cloudy or rainy days, but the color green of all those evergreens is breathtaking in its richness and is more than a fair trade. Interstate 5 runs north to south, and Seattle – the emerald city sparkles like a diamond, about 2 1/2 hours into the drive. Immediately crossing the Columbia river, places us in the heart of Oregon’s largest city: the underplayed Portland or the City of Roses. Halfway down, passed Eugene the air dries out and the greenery fades, but before we hit the Golden State we skirt the parameters of a village named Ashland, home to the nationally acclaimed Shakespeare Festival. On and on, north to south continue driving and California is where we are now.
Change directions, look toward the east and soon the road opens to the desert southwest of The Grand Canyon State and the Land of Enchantment before entering the Lone Star State. The United States of America is the 3rd largest country by area as well as population. And the southern accents of the deep south, appear foreign in comparison to the Nordic dialect of Minnesota and the Dakotas. But American, each and everyone, and in all shades as well.
I have driven across our nation 8 times, taking a different route and managing to spend time in 42 of the lower 48. Clean and different and beautiful with modern freeways and spectacular bridges, like the Seven Mile Bridge, that connects the Florida keys, in the middle of the sea. Amish in Western Pennsylvania, Geechee on the Outer Banks of South Carolina, Native in Oklahoma, Mormon in Utah and Mexican Americans in Los Angeles with generations that pre-date the United States. America is a nation so large and complex, that its diversity blossoms simply from generations of us.
The Eastern Corridor – the population mother lode of the Red, White & Blue – runs from Baltimore Maryland and Washington D.C. through Wilmington Delaware, Philadelphia and straight to the Big Apple, Within mere miles of the Statue of Liberty, we reach the gateway to the New England States – original colonies, you see (Do Englanders visit Boston?)
“The open road is the school of doubt in which man learns faith in man.” ~ Pico Iyer
But so much anger, division, threats and violence: if we paid attention to ourselves, we would know that this is nuts. Respected around the world, home of the best Universities academia has set forward. Homeless we do have, but nary an American, or immigrant or guests ends the day on an empty stomach; and if they do it is by choice or cruelty, for food we have in abundance. Entertainment everywhere, shopping malls resemble palaces, and by the rule of law, we are free to move around – day or night, man or woman, while singing whatever song we like. But more dammit! we must have it and we do not want to relocate or change careers or re educate or take a pay cut or pitch in so that everyone has health insurance. Or search within, God forbid we accept that our own choices are the root cause of our mistakes. Or accept them, and pretend that we are good; or we have been driving wreckless for so long long, that we are running out of exit ramps.
But never that. Life is good. The bumps are bad and fair was never at the table.
But all is not lost, not even close. If we the people, and I myself take a deep breathe, and make a stand and understand that the open road, which regenerates the mind, lightens the soul, can be a daily walk around a different block. or a hop on a city bus or a long drive to a place that we have never been before. We must find a way to stop the internal spinning, to be beneficial in electing a government non-corrupt, that veers off of the collision course, less the morning after, we allow the political placeholders to spin us off – not over a literal cliff – but into eternal divisions, between… we really do not know who, just others that someone told us was the root cause of our problems. A real wall we do not need, because the imaginary one that we construct around ourselves or that our leaders announce is surrounding our borders, will be high enough. And although we will find someone to blame, when we cannot breathe, world history will note, that the people of the most prosperous and strong and beautiful nation on God’s Green Earth (if in fact, we still believe) failed ourselves; and sunk in the blood of the generations, will be us they read about.
But we can right our ship or fix the leaks and make a contribution to change the system on a national scale. We have until the 1st Monday of November to take and return from the drive.
this is… The Neighborhood
Photographs courtesy of Places at Pixabay