This is part of a weekly thread of Joy called Postcards From Paradise that eminates from Rebecca's recuerda mi corazon. Please feel free to go there and have a look and catch the feelings of other kinderd souls.
October 26th. That’s when all this heart stuff started. It was right about this time, early in the morning, that my heartbeat went racing out of control. It was at 167 when I put the blood pressure cuff on and saw it. Before that, I remember a trip up North earlier in October. That’s the last time I was on the road for anyplace farther than the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis, which is 38 miles from my home.
That changed on January 25th when I headed to Chicago, driving my car. So, over three months of being what I consider to be homebound, I finally got into the car and drove away. Hardly a cross country excursion, but I was doing what I love, seeing the world through the windshield. This view is my therapy, my yoga, my meditation.
I listened to the radio. I have SiriusXM installed in Goldie. Channel 26 plays the classic rock and for my benefit played the Allman Brothers “Ramblin’ Man”. I was born a ramblin’ man, there is no doubt about it!
Lord, I was born a ramblin' man
Trying to make a living and doing the best I can
When it's time for leaving, I hope you'll understand
That I was born a rambling man
I cried at the screaming guitar of Carlos Santana. I sang out loud at the top of my lungs with “Hey Jude” and just soaked it all in, dreaming of days gone by, when they played Mott the Hooples’ “All the Young Dudes”.
I left around 7:00 AM and this time of year, even though the daylight hours are on the increase, there’s still a darkness to the sky, especially when it’s damp and foggy, and that’s how it was last Wednesday. No camera, so no photos of this very familiar route to the city where I was born and raised.
As I drove East on US 10, the sun was brightening the sky from behind the foggy heavens. Then, I was able to look right at the sun. There was no glare as the outline of the perfect orb shone through the lifting haze. In a short while, the day had become a sunny one.
I stopped at Pammy K’s diner in Eleva, WI. Had the chopped beefsteak and eggs, then got underway and drove the Interstate for a hundred miles or so. I took two-lane highways to Mt. Horeb after that and paid a visit to the Duluth Trading Company’s retail store.
On from there into Illinois with dinner and a motel room in Harvard. I tell you, it felt so good to be on the road. I wish I could remember what I was writing in my head that day. The words flowed out of my brain as I wanted to tell the world I felt free once again.
The crows were evident everywhere along the road. I saw one eagle, two deer and two sheriffs patrol cars along with the show Ole Sol was putting on as it broke through the cloud cover to reveal itself on a very unseasonable Winter day in the Midwest. Temps shot as high as 46 degrees. When I got to Illinois, there was no snow to be seen.
The next morning, I headed into Chicago with a stop at a restaurant along US Highway 14 in Crystal Lake, IL. I did a little zigging and zagging to find the highway after I checked out what was happening on WBBM radio out of Chicago. They have traffic and weather on the 8’s. I pulled into the driveway at the funeral home and immediately spotted the familiar faces of my brother and brother-in-law in the parking lot.
The trip home was equally as enjoyable for the first half. The second half it was dark and all I could see were the images in my head while listening to more old but great music. The Reggae channel had me bobbin’ and weavin’. I was Irie mon.
I don’t know what many of you think about road trips. As you can see, it is important to my life. For a while, I felt like I’d never be able to take off, at least not take off alone, from home. I’ve broken the ice and plan a full schedule of travel starting in mid March when I can saddle up and get to Albuquerque to get my motorcycle out of Winter storage.
In the meantime, I refreshed my soul by simply being on the move. Practicing what I preach, I realize there is nothing I can do about what has happened, and I sure don’t know what the future will bring, so living one day at a time means be prepared, but perish the thought of sitting in a living room chair, watching TV and waiting to die for the rest of my life. I want to live, not just be alive, as long as The Creator allows. And I continue to be thankful for friends and family. I pray for the Veterans, the Elders, the Sick, the Addicted and the Children.