The first part of the road trip was necessarily time-efficient but what after that? This new freedom to choose is making my brain yawn with the need for oxygen. Decisions. It’s exhilarating and mindboggling all at the same time!
Driving the back roads of North Dakota provided a relaxing sendoff. It’s a straight-run road trip in the heat of summer delivering frozen beef to a customer in Nashville. The first Airbnb was a welcome crash site for myself and Big Dog, my traveling companion. Afterward, we took two days to wander leisurely around Tennessee, exploring walks by the Tennessee River, Lookout Mountain, and good eateries in Nashville, Chattanooga, and Couch's BBQ in Ooltewah that offers an excellent meal. I was driving up that mountain, not just riding along. Being amongst the crowds of tourists on the Mountain quenched my desire for paying the price of a hot day in a long line to view the Rock City buildings and the Ruby Falls exhibit. Maybe next time, but I chose not this time.
Since the beginning of time, decisions have been made. Think Adam and Eve. There was a decision made to eat that apple!
The last of the Angus herd was sold the week before and there would be no livestock this winter. I committed to that decision. It has been a choice of letting go of a rigid lifestyle and suddenly life is not just about the farm. The severe drought, hayland, and pasture are still part of my life, but not the only part.
Meeting in a funky outdoor coffee shop, I talked with a friend about the direction of the farm website. It has been full of cattle and beef order options. Now it will change directions to include a blog and offer of respite, yet still rooted on the organic farm.
This road trip is a journey as the life involved is a journey. Decisions must be made. As the prophet told the Israelites in 1 Kings 18:21 “ How long will you waver between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” NIV (Baal is a bad guy of the Bible) The account that follows this insistence on a decision is a very remarkable account of God in action. Read it in 1 Kings 18:22-39.
Plan A was meeting in Huntsville to spend time with granddaughters while their mama finished business before taking vacation days. It became evident it would be helpful to meet up in a tiny town near Birmingham. I took the girls and their dog with me and had wide-open driving on the dark highways in the wee hours of the morning. The girls slept late and woke to a day packed with variety; cousins for play, a living history museum, and swimming in the afternoon at the neighborhood pool. Great fun! We hid from the heat in the afternoons and enjoyed playing in puddles after a rainstorm.
A rustic lake cabin in the woods was our next stop. Paddle boating, swimming, searching for worms, and discovering water life.…fishing; one little girls’ dream come true. A family meal and late-night talks with cousins. Love my family!
People talk with me about experiences- being in the military, divorce, childhood, priorities, tough choices, keeping loved ones safe. It’s interwoven in the tapestry of the journey.
A flat tire sent me to a tire repair shop in Meridian, MS. No charge because there was no guarantee. No Charge?! They could've sold me a new set of tires due to AWD tire needs. I will remember them when needing paid service in the area.
Stuck in Memphis rush hour traffic, the opportunity came to turn up praise and worship music with the moon roof open for all to enjoy! Driving on and getting drowsy, I have no issue with catching a wink of sleep for safety on the road. Pulling into a university parking lot, empty and well-lit, proved a quiet spot. Big Dog helps with security.
There are a few miles between Memphis, TN and Melrose MN, but it was time to be home soon, so the only stops were in search of a really good cup of coffee and fresh corn. Discovering I was short on cash, the vendor didn’t accept credit cards but there was a customer who covered my three dozen ears of corn. She had a story. A story of a young family losing their father to cancer in the past year. The community support had been great and she was grateful. She was paying it forward.
People tell me their stories. I have a story and so does each person. We are to learn from each other and not separate ourselves from beneficial relationships. It is a choice to listen, share, and how we live our life.
I loved this road trip- what it taught me and the choice to come home. Home, to be able to pick fresh beans from the garden and have seasoned beans and pan-fried cornbread like my mother made. Home cooking!
Transitions are taking place and this is part of the journey; a road trip journey and a transition journey. The cleaning and sorting stage is making its presence known. Out with the old and in with the new! How long will I waver between two opinions? Not long! That decision has been made. Decisions often require sacrifice. Are we willing? As C.S.Lewis said, " The problem with a living sacrifice is that it keeps crawling off the altar.”
Join me on the journey.