Saturday, September 24, 2011
For the past several years my family and close friends have had to listen to me complain about getting old and slowing down. I have been in an almost constant state of agitation and depression at finding myself no longer having the energy and desire to pursue the fast active life style I once did of fishing, backpacking, skiing, and bicycle touring. In fact, a person who shall remain nameless who sort of serves as my pastor/counselor/friend, suggested over coffee one day that I should make up a list of some of the positive things that are happing to me in my elder years. Are you kidding me??? What is positive about getting old and slowing down? I’ll tell you, nothing! Well, my attitude turned the corner on me this week. I was driving back to Elkton from the Eugene area in our new smaller motor home that we have recently purchased in part because I was getting too old to confidently drive or back up the last huge ten ton beast. I turned off the Interstate at the small town of Goshen to proceed down the old Highway 99. As I turned on to the old two lane highway, my face suddenly broke into a huge smile, I remembered this was the route Jeanette & I had cycled in the fall of 1999 on our way from Canada to Mexico. After Goshen came Creswell where we had a snack, then on south through Saginaw to Cottage Grove where we stopped for lunch, before cycling on to Curtain, through Drain and to Elkton where we camped at the RV Park. (Click here to see Trip Journal) I continued to smile as I drove on past small farms and tired businesses, 55 mph, then 50, down to 45. I had forgotten at 45 mph you can drive with your window down. And I continued to smile as I thought how this new motor home was just the ticket for enjoying the less traveled roads. Shorter, narrower, with a nimbleness of it handling, it is a joy drive. I’m not just talking about life in the slow lane where the young and energetic zoom by on either side; this is about choosing to get clear off the Interstate, and traveling down the back roads, the country roads, the forgotten places passed by with time. This is about leisure, appreciation, and memories. Ah, yes I’m slowing down, slowing down on purpose, enjoying the journey, and smiling all the way.