I slowly awoke at 11:00 a.m. this morning, surprising myself that I slept that long. I think the high altitude is affecting me. It was nice to not have an alarm clock wake me.
I went to Walmart (because there is one practically on every corner now) to pick-up a few cleaning supplies for my car. Cars here seem to be a magnet for dirt and bugs. I am still in my “new car” phase where I want it looking shiny every moment. I had planned on washing my car but the road called my name out today. As soon as I left Walmart, I began driving as if being pulled by an invisible force. I drove toward the open farmland. I am not sure how to describe the pure joy I feel as I see the land open up before me. Stretches of long grass in all shades of yellow, gold and green blowing in the wind, freshly plowed farmland and old broken down barns. I turned here and there exploring old towns that still had their Fourth of July flags lining the streets. I felt the proud American spirit as I drove past these flags that were blowing in the wind block after block. I passed a few old men lazily taking naps in their chairs on the front porch of their homes. I couldn’t help but smile. I wondered what it would be like to live in such a small town. Would I enjoy the peace and quiet and the slow pace or would I itch to move on as I was doing now?
Before I knew it, I saw a sign welcoming me to Idaho. Welcome to Idaho! I have to admit that I was a bit surprised that I had driven that far. I was not paying attention to how long I had been driving. I certainly was not using my GPS. I love driving with no destination. No little GPS woman’s voice telling me it is recalculating and I have to make a U-turn and get back on the path she has selected for me. I can turn in any direction I so desire. If I want to investigate a barn I see off in the distance, I just take the closest little road that will take me there. I happily found myself on a few unpaved roads today.
I recall learning about staying on the “straight and narrow” path in Sunday school as a young child. I think it was meant to teach me that it is a “safer” way to lead my life. Perhaps, this is the GPS woman’s goal-to keep me on the “straight and narrow.” Only her way is the right way! She lets you really know it if you don’t follow her directions! (Perhaps you have met a few in church like this?)
What is that other thing I learned in Sunday school-oh yes, God gave us our “free agency”. Whenever I look-up directions on Google Maps, I am given more than one route to take. Life is like that isn’t it? So many exciting choices. I am so glad God gave us our free agency. Sometimes I have taken the most direct (or expected) route and other times I have not. Funny, how I have often chosen the unpaved path in life just as I did today. I always end-up back on the main road but I have to admit that I love the lessons learned from the bumps and dips I have experienced along my way.
Why one person’s path is different could be from choices made or even challenges bestowed upon them for one reason or another. Once reaching Pocatello, Idaho I stopped at a Starbucks to relax and take a quick Internet fix before continuing on my journey. I know, I know, Starbucks… But let me get to my point in bringing it up. I was sitting there minding my own business when this woman sat down next to me. I quickly realized she must be mentally ill because she was having a very explicit argument with herself regarding some problem. I could have moved, but I didn’t. I listened. Her sane personality was having a battle with her insane personality. It sounded like a battle between good and evil. The good (sane) side was trying so hard to get the evil (insane) side to stop swearing and making a scene. I felt complete compassion for this woman. Suddenly, the sweet good side prevailed and she kindly asked another patron if she could use their computer to see the Internet. I am sure the patron was worried that the evil side would take over her once again so they replied, “no”. How sad. I wanted to offer mine but I have to admit that I was fearful as well. I was not scared of this woman, just fearful of her disease and the unpredictable nature of it. Anyone of us could be like her someday. Why we are not able to protect and assist people such as this woman saddens me. This disease was not her choice. I think that God would want us to use our free agency to make the choice to take care of her.
Just as she wandered off having another intense conversation with herself, I left as well. It was time to get back home. (Home for the next two weeks is Logan, Utah)
A storm was brewing as I got back on the highway. It was an exciting trip back. As I watched lightning bolts strike the ground behind me, I felt the energy run threw me as I blasted my dance music and sang all way home. I felt blessed to be me.
The additional bugs and dirt will have to be removed tomorrow.