Driving Forward

I took a drive today.  The temperature was in the 50s, and for part of the ride the sun was shining, but the sky was full of thick, fluffy, grey clouds.  Snow clouds.  It’s gonna snow six inches tonight (my prediction).  I could never be a weather person because I would be using my intuition and saying things like “I know it’s going to rain-it smells like rain!”  It’s been more than fifteen years since the last big blizzard.  The one before that was exactly 20 years – I know, because I was shovelling snow with a big, pregnant belly.  We are overdo for some real winter weather.

Nevertheless, I took my ride.  I wanted to make a leisurely drive up the country road that passes my subdivision.  I went north, further into the country, on a path I’d only travelled once.  This time, I had no destination and no deadline, so I could take the time to observe the scenery that I was passing.  The road traversed rural territory, with only one crossroad deserving of a traffic light.  The mountain range was to my right, perhaps a half-mile from the road, sometimes closer, continuing on past the eight miles that I drove.  There were at least a half-dozen new subdivisions in various stages of construction, making me wonder who was going to buy all those places in this mortgage-depleted time.  The houses were all large, mostly two-story, with ample yards.  One neighborhood claimed the name of “Seven Lakes” but I couldn’t see any body of water from the road.  I passed large tracts of land being used for raising cattle.  The cattle and horses that I saw ignored me, but I paid particular attention to a huge cow that sat less than 20 feet from the road on an unfenced property.   The older houses hugged the road, large beside small beside trailer, some on narrow parcels of land, some on huge, fenced estates.  I passed very few businesses – a barbecue place, gas station, and a few small stores at the large crossroad. 

Surprisingly, I was the solitary vehicle on the road for most of my ride.  I wondered where everyone was.  I know that lots of traffic traverses that road during morning and late afternoon rush hours.  I didn’t expect it to be completely deserted in early afternoon on a weekday.  No one running to the grocery store, picking up a child from school, going to the beauty shop, not a soul within a half-mile of me for most of my journey.  How odd.  I passed three or five churches.  Not even a few folks headed to or from a church committee meeting.  No police vehicles. 

Today is one of those days when I started off slowly.  I was tired and achy, and I felt like not much would be accomplished.  Somehow, as the day progressed, I was able to do some cleaning, then some laundry, then some cooking, and by late afternoon I was collecting mail from various tabletops into my shopping bag, preparing for tomorrow’s bill-paying marathon.  The day was punctuated by brief, positivity-making phone calls, and I think that was part of the secret of the forward motion.  This spate of phone calls actually began last night with a “Hello” and brief catching-up from New Orleans, test prep angst from my daughter, an invitation for a birthday dinner, then today’s post-test calls, a sister catching up, another sister, a friend that I hadn’t spoken with in more than a week…just those little reminders that I was a part of the world.  Being connected imparts responsibility, makes me move more and set my sights farther. 

Yesterday, in another blog, I read someone’s view that it was good to be working with her chronic illness, because it kept her from just sitting down and giving up.  I think it is possible to find other ways to be motivated, and to identify good role models to follow for that.  We are creative creatures whose natural inclination is to move and grow.  We can change and learn and keep up the momentum.  I will not let lupus “whup” me.  I am somebody’s mother!



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