Take a Trip with Me

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I’m off on a new rabbit trail. Again.

I just returned from a road trip to the Twin Cities to visit my sister and brother-in-law and sister-in-law and brother-in-law-in-law. You know me: I couldn’t just do it the normal way. That’d be too easy. So I hit the Great River Road. (If you haven’t heard of it, Google away; it’s well worth a look.) And it got me to thinking…

I’ve told you again and again that I’m not satisfied with my job or the place I live. I’ve insisted that I need something to do that gives me a feeling of fulfillment. And then I’ve sat upon my thumbs.

No more. I’ve chucked the box, and I’m thinking as if it had never existed.

I love travel, so I’m doing something about it. What exactly, I’m not sure yet. But a first step is a new beginning. A new “blog-ginning,” if you will. I’m jumping in the Dustmobile and I’m going public. And I’d love for you to join me.

What will come of this, I don’t know. But it’ll be fun, at the very least. It’s very much a work in progress, so don’t expect greatness just yet. But maybe you’ll find something there that piques your interest or takes your fancy…

…and that’s what it’s all about.

A New Day

“Marilla, isn’t it nice to think that to-morrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”

– Lucy Maud Montgomery
Anne of Green Gables

Do what you love.

That’s what everyone says, anyway. Do what you love. Which leads me to ask:

What do I love?

If you’ve read my last few posts, you may have noticed a certain je ne sais quoi, a certain level of uncertainty, or ennui, or angst, or whatever the YA crowd’s reading about these days. A lot of that, I think, stems from the fact that I don’t really know what I love anymore. I’ve gotten so caught up in the daily grind that I haven’t really put much thought into it lately.

And I should. So here goes:

I love writing. That’s a gimme. More specifically, I love words. I love the power contained in such tiny vessels: one syllable can change the world, one letter can spark off unending controversy. You say homoousios, I say homoiousios. (What’s life without the occasional obscure church history joke?)

I love to travel. Balls to the wall. No preplanned tours for me. I want to mark out the beaten path, and then avoid it at all costs. I want the old diner by the side of a wooded, two-lane highway, where no stranger has gone before, and from which no one departs a stranger. I crave hairpin curves, iron lattice-work bridging, and populations under one thousand. That’s where the stories are. And I covet them.

I love food, but I’m not a foodie. I’m an anti-foodie. Someone once asked me whether I preferred quantity or quality. My reply? Why not both? I want a recipe as old as the woman preparing it, and her mother, and her mother’s mother. I want six-person capacity, classic fare: keep your truffles; I’ll take a slab of good, honest bacon any day of the year. And I want to eat that bacon elbow-to-elbow with Farmer Bob, while his John Deere waits patiently outside.

I love conversation. Which is why I prefer Farmer Bob to the faceless masses in overpass fast food wastelands. I love to talk, and I love to listen. I want to know what makes you tick; I want to know what you love. I want to share, and to be shared with. I love conversation because I love history, and I believe the history that matters is all the stuff of life unfolding around us all the time, each moment of every day. And I believe the only way we can save history from itself is by learning from each other, together.

Words. Travel. Food. Conversation. Put them all together, and what do you get?

Well…Me. The Toad. The longer I’m deprived of any of these things, the less myself I am. I am the words I write. I am the back roads I travel. I am the greasy bacon burgers I eat (which can’t be healthy, right?). And I am the dialogue I inhabit. My loves make me who I am.

So here I am. Being the Toad. Having great adventures, remembering who I am, and seeking out amazing people with whom to share it all.

And that’s you.

And thanks to you, the Toad goes ever, ever on…

Love at First

1382354_10101157285292883_599937496_nThe sparkle blossoms, like a lily,
In her eye: Give her wings, and she could
Fly.

Heavy sigh,
All a-flutter,
Chronic stutter
Of elation; new sensation, slow inflation of
The chest.
Bullet-proof vest set aside, discarded,
Arms opened wide to thoughts uncharted.
Something’s started…

None is half so beautiful as She who first
Suspects
The possibility of We.