There’s a reason I’d never be a good reporter or travel writer.
It’s because I am a slow processor. I’m a ponderer. A million sights, sounds and experiences mill around in my head. They marinate there until they can be processed through the heart and out onto paper (or screen).
I planned to blog on the go as we traveled the U.S. these last five-plus weeks. But I was too busy oohing, ahhing and doing.
So now we’re home and I’ve got scribbled notes, business cards and an i-phone full of pictures. It’s time to do something with them. That will take time.
For today I just want to share the over-arching impression of what these several weeks showed to me…. and a suggestion for our elected officials.
First of all, I’m encouraged.
And I feel more blessed than ever to live in America.
When I left home in May I was burdened. Undoubtedly the years of caregiving and my father’s death played a role in that. But it was also the news, the political pundits on every channel, the pictures of masked people “demonstrating”, the big cities with their big problems, politicians who don’t seem to be living in the same country (or perhaps, planet!) that I do. It was all too much. I wondered what I would find out there.
I found beauty with some gritty problems. I found good people and a few ornery ones. I found people who don’t put masks on. They don’t need masks. They are too busy living a life they believe in, work hard for and fiercely protect. They aren’t afraid.
I found a solid country that gives me hope.
We do need another Paul Harvey, however, so America can hear “the rest of the story”. Because there very much is more to the story.
I think it would be a great idea for all members of congress to take a trip every couple of years. They should have to travel the roads all around their own state for a month with a limited budget and no entourage. They should have to deal with mechanical breakdowns, getting lost and not being able to take a shower every day. They should have to talk to people, real people and experience how their constituents live. Because honestly, they don’t know us.
And the political pundits on TV? We just need to turn them off. They were talking about the same thing last night as they were when I left town on May 22nd.
Doug and I stayed in a variety of RV parks along our way. Some were very nice and had every convenience you might need. Others were spartan. One was a little scary!
This one in Tennessee was beautiful and offered the basic necessities. The owner was an older gentlemen. He had to sell off part of his property. On what is left is this small RV park. He also grows corn. And he’s turned an old tobacco drying barn into an event center for family reunions and weddings. He is probably working harder than he’d imagined at his age, but he appeared and sounded happy. He lives in a beautiful place, he takes care of it and has what he needs.
Doug and I purposely drove on as many state roads as possible. We wanted a better view of America than what is offered in the blur of interstate highways. This choice caused us a few delays and frustrating moments, but I’ve no regrets.
There is so much more to America’s story. And there is so much more to mine and Doug’s. We just need to set a spell and talk…