Rainbows End Down That Highway

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I should always see Birds of Paradise in my everyday existence.

So a concerned reader wrote and said “Don’t let the sadness of Tony stop you from blogging. Why haven’t you written again?”

Ok. Ok. This is a place for truth. I have no concerned readers. It was actually my best friend who wrote and said that.

I’m sorry to have given that impression. It wasn’t at all “the sadness of Tony” that stopped me from writing. It was, instead, a couple of other things.

1 – The sadness of Tony wasn’t really Tony’s fault. Nor was it overwhelmingly his sadness I felt. His was real and true. But what weighed on me so heavily was the town itself, the other energies and people there. Once I left, things got better instantly.

2 – It was that I’ve been quite busy. I’ve been on the move. Socializing. Seeing people and doing things. I’ve been to the Salton Sea, to San Diego, to Laguna Beach for a few days, to visit friends and their four adopted Chinese daughters in Hermosa Beach in a house bursting with activity and lined up lunch boxes every morning. I’ve been to gajillions of Museums, had dinners with friends, and wandered on beaches for hours on end watching strangers wandering on beaches, I’ve been contemplating the lives of shore birds and enjoying the weather immensely.

3 – When I left Connecticut I imagined this blog would be something awesome, something thoughtful, educational, intriguing, worth reading. And I have a couple different blog posts half way shaped in my head, but none of them are yet fully formed (read: good enough to be what I want them to be.)

4 – I’m an active Toastmaster. I’m the VP of Public Relations at my home club. I promised to keep up my social media posting duties AND more interestingly, I’ve been visiting Toastmaster Clubs in some of the cities in which I have stopped. When I do that, I write a blog post for my club blog about their club, their meeting and my visit. So when I HAVE had time to write, I’ve been doing that first. Because it’s easier to write a report than it is to write something perfect thoughtful, and I’ve wanted to write those before the impressions fade.

But now I’m mostly caught up on Toastmaster blogging. And as of late last night I have landed at a friend’s house with some peace and quiet, no need to jump in the car to move on, nothing particular to see nearby, and he’s off at work for the next 8 hours.  So maybe I can work on this.

Oh, and if you want to see posts about Toastmaster meetings – that blog is here: Cromwell Community Toastmasters.

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(I do not know these people:)

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(Or these people either.)

Adventures in Messy Driving

I didn’t pack until pretty much the last minute. Which meant I was up late the night before I was to leave. Really late. Like 4:30AM.
So when I woke Sunday morning at 10 to the idea that it was going to snow all day along the eastern seaboard and by 5 pm it would be freezing solid in Baltimore, I questioned the idea of actually leaving.
Baltimore was my first planned stop.
I could wait a day and be a little more organized in my packing, but that would set me back a whole day and while I haven’t planned much of this journey more than a loose outline, I had planned the first three days.
I hemmed and hawed for a good hour before I finally started throwing everything in the car.
It was really hard to leave my cat.
Maybe it was just really hard to leave.
Does it make sense that it’s really hard to actually do what one really wants to do?
To which my best friend Vette replied, “If following your dreams were easy, everyone would be doing it”

The weather was fine and the weather was fine and the weather was fine all the way through NY and over the GWB. Then it started to snow.
I figured I’d go as far as I could, then stop and get a room. I didn’t expect I’d make it to Baltimore, and I was okay with that.
It got messy fast.

I thought about stopping when a truck almost ran me into a jersey barrier, but I soldiered on. How far will I push this?
Traffic stopped. I looked at the map.
Hmm.
I’d gotten an invite from Kari who lives in Newark Delaware. Maybe I could make it that far. I called her. No answer. Then I popped on to Facebook and shot her a message.
I kept going. The roads were definitely bad. but I’ve driven in worse, and I’ve got a Forester.

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I had no idea what I was going to do, or where I was going to stop, or where I would sleep.
I began to remember what life on the road is really like.
Then Kari called.
She’d had to go to a funeral in Wilkes-Barre and she was driving home in this mess. When I told her where I was, she determined we’d get to her house about the same time. There’s a rest area just before her exit. We’d meet there.
We arrived at the rest area within about 5 minutes of each other.
And here’s the fun part.
See Kari and I had never actually met in person before. About 15 years ago we joined the same online book group. We always said we’d meet for real. I suspect neither of us imagined that first meeting would take place on the side of the highway in 10 inches of snow.
I followed to her house. Parked my car and we went out for dinner and drinks.

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How perfect it all was! It couldn’t have been more so.
One would think.
Back at her house talking, late, and I’m planning my morning departure and she says “Oh and I’m Toastmaster at a meeting tomorrow at noon.”
What?!?!?
We’d never discussed Toastmasters. I’m a dedicated Toastmaster and I’ve planned to attend as many meetings as I can along my journey.
So yeah. It got even more perfect.
Kari kept talking about the serendipity of it all. I only smiled and didn’t tell her that I did a speech abut serendipity just a couple weeks ago.
That was a perfect start to my journey. Thanks Kari! Great meeting you!

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And here’s me tonight – in a hotel, trying to get a handle on managing my digital life from the road…

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