Day 71: See more of the world today. Take a train or a bus one stop too far.
I am not a public transportation gal but I figured I could still participate in the spirit of the challenge. After all, just being out of the house, off the couch, seemed like a change of scenery. Em has had the Winter Funk, in the form of the flu and strep, an over achiever already, my girl. So, we have been cooped up in the house for the vast majority of the last week.
This morning, after I dropped Em at school, I was thinking about how lucky I am. She was talking about kindergarten and mentioned something about “if we live in Chapel Hill.” I told her that I suspect we will stay right here. And as I drove away from school and looked up at the… wait for it…. Carolina Blue sky I thought about how much I enjoy living right here, right now. And not just because of where I am in my mind right now.
So, off I went to work, with the intent to “see more of the world.” Small back story, I have a tendency to get lost. On the way home from the grocery store. I was absent on the day a “sense of direction” was handed out, evidently. The GPS has been my savior. There are four different routes I can take to my office. One is most direct, and used when I am not taking Em to school and have no errands to run. Mostly highway-ish and I run the chance of missing my exit. Or taking an earlier one, because after all the sign I drive by daily sure looks familiar and in a moment I think “Man, is that the road I take to my office?” And somehow in a strange mind-body disconnect my car is turning and my brain is thinking “No, I don’t think this is right, why are you going this way?” The other three are all variants that include a stop at Em’s school. This morning afforded me the opportunity to take my favorite route. Lots of wide open green space. Few landmarks. Many chances for me to look out the window and wonder where the hell I am.
Off we go…. skeptical that I will not get lost. (I apologize that you can not see my clean colon from this angle, perhaps my glowing epidermis will satiate those interested in following the effects of my cleanse.)
After I turn off of one of the more heavily trafficked roads I get to see one of my favorite trees. When I eventually finish my back tattoo it will have this tree worked in to in some way. I love everything about this tree. And the house beneath it. I’d like to live there. And have a bunch of kids. And a rope swing. And bake bread.
After visiting my tree I travel a short way and eventually come upon a very, very tiny green sign. When I see that sign I know it is my turn. At least 20% of the time I pass it. This is a problem because after I turn it looks like the next picture for about three miles.
And, as you may have guessed, it looks just like that if you keep on driving past that green sign.
This is, oddly, my favorite part of the trip. I don’t hate that feeling of wondering if I am lost. Because I can always turn on my GPS and check, of course, but mostly because it makes my morning commute slightly more exciting than it might be otherwise. Instead of thinking that I am scatterbrained I like to think of it as living in the present. As I drive along that tree-lined road I wonder if I already turned at the tiny green sign, or if I drove right past it. And most mornings I really have no idea for about four minutes.
Eventually, I see my favorite car. And I know I made my turn. I am not sure what it is about this car. I love the color. It is the perfect yellow.
Shortly after I pass the car I pass a teeny, pea green house with a sign out front. There are several small businesses along the way, a tax accountant, a home day-care, a family selling firewood. But my favorite is definitely this little Beauty Parlor. I like to pretend that Truvy is inside with a teasing comb in her back pocket, pouring cups of coffee for her pals.
It’s right around this time that I start to wonder if I will need to turn right or left at the next stop sign. I know, intellectually, it is left. But every time, without fail, right seems like the way that I need to go. This is an inkling that might have been serendipitous if I’d ever just turned right and kept driving. Down about another three miles from there is The Barn at Valhalla , the place MQD and I are getting married. I did not know it was down there until after I had seen their website and we’d decided to have our ceremony and reception there. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that something makes me feel like I need to keep driving that direction every time I sit at that crossroads.
In case I am getting swept away it is right around this point that I keep my eyes peeled for Big Al’s Cheap Tires and bang a right towards my office. Once I make that turn my traveling companion perks up.
If we’re lucky we will see a whole bunch of cows and horses in the next mile and a half. This morning, since I had my camera at the ready and the time to stop, the cows must have been sleeping in and the horses were not up by the fence.
This is either just before or after my favorite farm sign, Kart Wheel Farm. I like to think that the people that live there have a sense of humor.
Lastly, I pass one more landmark. It is a very small sign but it is the sign I draw to someone’s attention when I am giving them directions to my office. It is a sign that is actually ironic, a word I have come to find irritating, thankyouverymuchAlanisMorrisette. I know I am less than a quarter mile from my office when I pass the Gone Fishing sign.
A couple of weeks ago I said I was going to commit to shaking the blues. I think I am well on my way. I like where I am right now. I like where I am headed. I even enjoy the hell out of driving to work. How’s that for some cheesin’?
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Yeah, I’d like it best with no leaves too. That tattoo sounds really cool. Once I got a huge henna tattoo of a big tree of life design on my back. I loved it, it freaked my mom out, maybe one day I’ll get one for real.
Megan, I am fairly sure it woudl be with no leaves. I want to get Alphonse Mucha’s Beires de la Meuse on my back eventually, I think above the TS Eliot, across my shoulders, kind of? And then have a tree coming down my back, with the black and smaller woman sitting on my hip. But two things need to happen before I do that. I need to be done having babies to tattoo near my hips) and I need to sock away some cash. So… I’ve got time to think on it.
Are you going to get a tattoo of that tree with its leaves on or off, do you think?
There is no question in my mind as to why you love that fascinating tree. But it looks like it’ll hurt like holy hell to get a tattoo of it. Good luck. :)
Great post…even though I can’t see your colon, your face is shining again.
You and Fishface look great! I really enjoyed this post. I don’t know if it is more ot do with me being still on a travelly/transitional state and vibing on a travel story, or if it is the tone and the sense of renewed joy and peace that poke out from you as you share this tale. Anyway, thanks.
Side note – the subtitle, or second title – one stop too far – i have one of those stories still pending about my final day in Mexico. Obviously it worked out because “Ta-Da!” here i am – but it was interesting…