Thoughts from Route 80

I’m in a Best Western Hotel in Sterling, Colorado right now. I wasn’t planning on writing this week, but I also didn’t want to let my fans down. Fan. Well, really, I just felt like writing about some things I’ve been thinking on the road, having driven my car for approximately 24 hours these last three days. That’s a lot of time for thought, even between a meowing cat, audio books, NPR, and country music. (Country music, I figured out, is there to alert you to the fact that you have lost reception to the latest NPR station you were listening to).

So here are some thoughts I’ve had:

  1. Nebraska is waaaay too big.
  2. It’s easy to find a radio preacher on a Sunday in Iowa.
  3. I like classic rock more than I thought. (Or it may just be a fun walk down my Michigan memory lane).
  4. Folks in the middle of the country aren’t real concerned about the whole mask thing.
  5. I am for sure a bi-coastal snob.
  6. Using the SCAN button on the car radio is like playing Name That Tune and it got me to wondering if maybe that’s how they came up with the idea for the game show.
  7. When my cat acquiesces to go back in her car-pen for another 8 hour ride my heart breaks with the trust she displays.
  8. Salad has yet to be invented in the middle of the country.
  9. The time zones seem extra absurd when you’re driving through a different one each day.
  10. Staying in hotels has always been a leap of sanitary faith.
  11. The Travelers by Regina Porter is a really good historic-like novel.
  12. People in the middle of the country don’t hog the left lane (which is called the passing lane for a reason) like we do in New Jersey.
  13. I learned from NPR that the idea of a vaccine — giving our body a little bit of the thing we’re trying not to get — was invented in its earliest stages in 400 BC China. I also learned that fire experts are trying to re-teach people that the best way to prevent wildfires is to allow small, natural fires to occur. To me, that sounded like the same concept as a vaccine. And I got to wondering what else we could get rid of by recreating it.
  14. It’s handy to be able to buy beer and wine at a gas station; but I will never embrace pumping my own gas.
  15. A lot of places in the middle of the country don’t look like the things they say they are, such that I have found myself mumbling several times already, “This can’t be it.”
  16. Maybe college students don’t read the syllabus on purpose — or maybe they do and then purposefully ask questions that are clearly answered as some kind of power play.
  17. Friends who don’t participate in social media make more work for you during times like this. (“Hey, how are you? Are you in Colorado yet?”). They’re kinda like students who don’t read the syllabus.
  18. The middle of our country is very flat.
  19. People in the middle of the country are willing to spend their time and money to erect giant signs that spell out the name of our so-called president.
  20. I’m excited to belong to California. Fires, earthquakes, I don’t care. It’s really calling me.

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