Being out on a road trip inevitably means that you travel in a bit of a bubble. Text messages from friends and loved ones
force allow you to keep in touch. If free WiFi is available, one can choose to glance through an alarming number of e-mail accumulated by the absence from a routine. Were it not for my doing the latter, I might not have noticed a notification from American Express alerting me to a payment that was due in 24 hours. My credit rating thanks me.
But in the main, one is mostly unaware of the goings on in the world.
I had initially heard about the tragic events at the nightclub in Orlando from glancing at a CNN crawl while at a rest stop in Tennessee. For 24 hours I thought it was a minor example of America’s impotence against an all-powerful gun lobby. Only by the time we reached Michigan did I understand the full gravity of what had transpired. This was, of course, followed by the absurdities that emanated from Mr. Trump’s mouth.
Not even the strong martinis at Ludington’s wonderful P.M. Steamers could undo the heartache I felt.
I am vaguely aware of Senator Sanders’ resistance to end his remarkable campaign, a boy being swallowed up by an alligator, and Her Majesty giving William a not-so subtle dig at royal balcony etiquette. Oh, and speaking of England, they too are grappling with a tragic act of gun violence taken out on a member of Parliament.
These are all stories I would normally be on top of were I at home, but my knowledge at the moment is mostly from glancing quickly at TV and Internet site headlines. Bloggers whom I faithfully follow are no doubt writing about these events, and in some ways I feel out of sorts by missing their distinctive and always compelling points of view.
We are here in Michigan for two more nights before we head back south to continue investigating the charms of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and northern Florida. I have so far met five members Gorgeous’ family for the first time, and she in turn has made the acquaintance of probably double that number of my family. So far everyone continues to speak to one another, which is a good thing.
Tomorrow we will return to the nostalgia of our hometown, revisit old haunts, see the place where our first kiss allegedly took place almost 40 years ago, and reunite with friends from our school days. Old stories will be re-told, gossip will be shared, and cell phone pictures will be passed around with abandon. At least for a short time, the world’s problems will take a backseat to the safety and security of friendship.
I can’t completely escape the omnipresent commotion and tumult of the times, but it is admittedly an emotional salve to unplug a bit.
Until next time…