On the Road Again

24 11 2010

For too many days between the first of October and the Christmas holidays, too much of my life is being lived on asphalt and “free continental breakfast.”   Anybody who thinks expense account dinners and hotel room toiletries are cool job perks has never had to travel for a living. 

Sure, when I’m traveling, there are no dirty dishes for me to do, someone else makes my bed, and I do not have to stop at the grocery store on my way home to fix my own dinner.  That said, I can’t get a drink before bedtime without digging for change at the bottom of my purse and getting dressed all the way to my shoes.  If I am bothered by the TV, I can’t just turn it off – because it’s usually blaring from a room down the hall.  The heater/air conditioner is always noisy and impossible to adjust to a level between sauna and see-your-breath freezing.

The highway is alternately trance-inducingly boring or heart-poundingly treacherous.  Miles and miles of green numbered markers, white stripes, and gray are punctuated by suicidal wildlife, state cops, and drowsy big rig drivers.  Exits are perfectly (mis)spaced, with seventeen of them in a span of a few miles offering food, drink, gas, restroom when your tanks are appropriately full and empty and then, not another one until the gas gauge and your bladder are both screaming in panic.

Okay, when I travel, my car engine is not the only whine.  Some folks, I am sure, have a restlessness, a wanderlust – perhaps a pain-in-the-ass spouse – that makes them want to hit the road.  I do it because it helps pay the bills, but I do not relish the thought of being on the road again.  With all respect to Willie Nelson, that is just not my tune.  For me, there’s no place like home.

Thanksgiving means a lot of us will be on the road to family homes and some will have to give thanks apart from their families.  Whether you are on the road; at home, sweet, home; or somewhere you’d rather not be, take time to appreciate the good in your life this Thanksgiving.  There is loss and pain in the world, but there is also hope and love.  Be thankful.

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