Getting to Belgrade

It’s probably important to point out, at least every once and a while, that although we are writing about our travel blogs (for those of you who read them when they come out), in the present tense; but in reality, our first few trips actually happened two to three years ago.

When we started traveling Missouri back roads we had no intention of blogging about our adventures. The only reason we even have evidence we took these trips is because I’m a writer. It just comes naturally to jot down my thoughts and observations regardless of what I’m doing.

Which is good, since now I have pre-packaged material to work from so to speak.

But it’s also been a bit fun to reread these entries to see where we went and what we did, even if it’s also been a bit of a reality check to realize how poor our memories truly are. Case in point: neither of us remembered going to Belgrade until we reread this entry: which means either the city made a particularly lackluster impression on both of us, or we need to get some serious medical attention.

From the entry, we now know we went in July of 2010, and that it was a side trip on our way to meeting our son Colin in Cape Girardeau, a city located just above the southeastern part of the state known as the bootheel because of it’s foot-like shape. However, I’ve always thought it looks more like a cloven hoof, which obviously would not go over well in the Bible Belt.

My notations about the weather that day sound delightfully wonderful in the dead of winter: “Hot, hot, hot and the humidity somewhere between off the charts and you don’t want to know.” The rest of the entry goes something like this…

It’s a good weekend to get away. Paul’s been battling crappy-work syndrome for what seems like forever and I’m stuck in limbo on two (please make it be true) writing jobs. Both of us are drained, washed out and ready to be hung out to dry. Getting away means leaving the depressive home atmosphere and battling the frustration of the open road – a welcomed change.

I’m personally looking forward to a more stream of consciousness writing that keeps my mind and my hand busy throughout the trip. And although he complains when the hours add up and about how his butt falls asleep, I know Paul likes the feel of the accelerator under his foot and the forceful spin he gives the steering wheel  – the almost God-like power over a machine is liberating when you seem to have little power in your life.

Highway 70 is moving along pretty well as we pass the Centralia exit. Heading due east, the sun beats through the window, making the inside of the car feel like a working kiln,  cooking our arms and legs, while the air-conditioning struggles to  keep up. We feel as if one with the other cars on the road on this Saturday morning, appearing to move almost in unison although with speeds exceeding 7o miles per hour. I watch the drivers and passengers alike who have the appearance of going somewhere, but I’m sure they are just as lost in their own thoughts as I am in mine. For that’s the way it is on the open road, and that’s the real reason we  go places in the first place – to let our minds wander; our destinations are merely stopping points so we don’t just keep going and never come back. 

Today, I think about road trips I use to take with my family when I was younger; when my Dad was behind the wheel instead of my husband, and vacations were few and far between.

I remember going to Colorado when I was around 11 and my sister was 6 or so. I marvel at the fact that all four of us spent two days cramped into a  two-door, candy-apple red 1966 mustang (a sweet ride at the time, and a collector’s item today). But such were the times, ruled by different priorities and expectations; neither better or worse, just different.

As I finish copying the words from this entry written almost three years ago, I’m so glad I took the time to record our journeys, our thoughts and adventures. Not because we are able to use them in our blogs today, but because they represent snippets of our lives that although don’t amount to anything monumental, are important to remember nonetheless. For they were moments that moved us forward to where we are today.

For this is what travel is really all about.

Next entry: Belgrade





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