The new beginnings of the year 2015 resonate with positive feelings and great hope of what is to come. No resolutions this year only a more enlightened way of thinking and dreaming of traveling the roads of Nebraska. When the roads are clear and free of ice. I am thinking a lot about the weather and those travelers on the roads that will be controlled by it. I hope everyone checks the different weather forecast sources and looks ahead to their travel ways and how it will intersect with wintery mother nature.
We had our own encounter with wintery mother nature last weekend when what usually is an hour and 1/2 drive turned into an overnight stay only 40 miles from our home. I did not check the weather forecast, only the darkening skies, and we headed out into the dry late afternoon. Soon there were little drops of moisture on the windshield and the drivers on the opposite side of the interstate were creeping along at a very slow pace. Soon an suv pulled up on our left to pass and then —- zing!!! across the road right in front of us and off to our right he or she slid……. made me think of the Wizard of Oz and the house inside the tornado and different creatures flitting by. Then a second vehicle… only this one spun around and was facing us and then … zing… off the side of the road he (or she) went. Thankfully the cooler headed driver was at the wheel and we were able to creep to the next off-ramp which happened to be a town with motels and such. We crept crept crept off the road and slid against the curbs like a pong game. I YELPED and found a motel directly across the road from where we were and yes they did take dogs… We were landed for the night.
It’s harder than you would think to make writing in this blog a daily habit. Always so many things that require your hands. Writing, knitting, washing dishes, petting animals, introducing yourself and shaking hands, caressing your loved one’s face, typing on the computer, even walking the dog requires your hands. So you make a decision as to where your hands will be used and for how long. Some actions take a set amount of time. Others could go on indefinitely. Like writing. The danger of free form writing is that it may roll on long after anything of worth has been said. Should you edit free form writing? Doesn’t that take out the “free form” of it?
The days keep rolling by like running waters. Some I have participated in fully, other days I just put in an appearance and observe the world around me. Many happenings in other places get my attention — the protests taking place not only by groups in the streets but by professionals who are front and center in the media, making a statement of solidarity with the protesters in the streets.
And still the days roll by. The stress of the holidays becomes more tangible but stopping to remember holidays of the past and the joys and love that were shared mellows out the feelings of stress and panic that are just below the surface. And in addition to wanting the holidays to be joyous for our loved ones, this year we have the added event of our daughter graduating from the university here in Nebraska. That in itself is great cause for celebration. Because you see, our daughter never does things the easy, average way. She is also raising three children, now alone, and is going through the pain and drama of a failed marriage and being abandoned by her husband the children’s father. But, there is icing on this cake, she has a job waiting for her which she will start the Monday after graduation ceremonies. So there is much to celebrate as these days roll by like running waters. Much.
My travels along Nebraska Highway 2 on October 18th was the perfect October drive. I followed the Rails Art Trails from Grand Island to Thedford. The first stop at the Buffalo County lake just east of Ravenna was art of a most natural kind… watched the reflection of the cottonwood trees while Murphy the dog romped and smelled the smells. On our way we passed a lovely doe standing in a small protected field who stopped grazing to watch us pass by. Another of those picture times that by the time you stopped and focused the object of your photo would be long gone.
My next stop was at the Sinclair station on Nebraska Highway 2 in Dunning, Nebraska. A Sandhills Journey sign swings outside and a promise of pottery work awaited inside. Once inside the station, there it was… shelves of pottery pieces – bowls, plates, match stick holders – made locally by Sandhills Pottery. Of course a couple of the pieces were purchased. I had a nice conversation with Michael, a scooter tramp whose gleaming harley sat outside. One of his two, he shared, and his travels on two wheels had taken him to all lower 48 states and through 4 Canadian provinces.
After bidding Michael and Dunning, Nebraska good-bye, I passed by Smokey the Bear advising that the fire danger was moderate in the nearby Halsey Forest and we headed on to Thedford, Nebraska to experience what art work was being showcased there and learn something about this sandhills town.
This Friday is for planning anyway. Taking a drive on Nebraska Highway 2 along the “Follow the Rails Art Trail”. The weatherman says it is going to be a beautiful day! We will be looking for the trees in their autumn glory. And some human made art as well. Hope to have some great photos to share on www.nebraskahighway2.com.
Watching the skies turning grey again and I am fighting the urge to go take a nice Sunday afternoon nap. It after 12:00 so its legal, right? but I have this list — well in my head anyway– of things I wanted to accomplish this weekend and now its Sunday afternoon — already. I did get the Mason City page up on www.nebraskahighway2.com yesterday. Only two businesses listed on the site but seeings how Mason City does not have a motel, restaurant or even a bar anymore, it is great that there are at least two businesses that travelers would be interested in stopping to see. I learned a bit about Mason City’s history. It was quite a busy little town for some years. The high school closed in 1966 so one can only imagine the demise that would follow. However, the town is nice. The community center on Main street appears to be thriving and up the hill is “The French Table”, an eclectic art collector’s dream. Right off of the Nebraska 2 highway is “Cooper’s Corner”, for hunting and gun enthusiasts.
Next weekend is the “Follow the Rails Art Trail” which runs from Grand Island along nebraskahighway2 to Alliance. A wonderful opportunity to get out on the highway and explore what these welcoming Nebraska communities have to offer to YOU!