Monday, November 2, 2009


There is something I love about seeing those big green overhead highway signs, something that makes me feel like I'm breaking out on the open road, going for an adventure. Usually since the road is several lanes wide, you get a big view of the sky, adding to the excitement of what's ahead on the horizon. I guess I have a lot of fond memories of going places to see people I loved via expressways, from a very early age.

Every time I see one of those signs, to this day, I think of my grandparents, Hank and Marna. I have vague memories of traveling with them up to Wisconsin, and of stopping in those touristy cheese houses. I used to have these little tiny souvenir mice with some sort of real fur and a little leather tail that I got there. I was very small, and loved my grandparents very much. I called them Hank and Marna--not Grandma and Grandpa though I don't know why. I also called my Grandma Lou by her first name. Weird.

When I was fourteen years old I ran away from home. I was riding along with some much older kids, and we were on the highway going halfway across the country. I was sick to my stomach the entire time, distressed about worrying my parents. But there were those green signs again, and somehow the sight of them gave me comfort--a feeling of security. Fortunately, we ran out of money fairly quickly and were able to get back home; gas was much cheaper then. Unlike most other things, the green signs haven't really changed.

Many many years later, married with children, my closest friend moved 900 miles away. Her kids and my kids were best friends too. We missed them terribly of course, so we did the crazy thing and decided to drive out there in our beater station wagon--"road trip!!" The beckoning green signs encouraged us on our way. It felt good to do something completely different, to throw caution to the wind and just go.

When we bought our home here, one of the things I looked for, as I always do, was the view out each window. I am very insistent on having nice views out as many windows as possible. One of the things I really love about this house is that out almost every single window is a beautiful view. We back to a park,our neighbors' homes are lovely and well kept. But we are very near a highway. It is not loud or bothersome, but let me tell you about the view out my bedroom window. There is the neighborhood skirting the parkland, but just over the tops of the houses and through the trees is a happy sight to me. A green highway sign is just visible after the leaves fall. It warms my heart. Silly, but it does.

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