Posts Tagged ‘Blue Highways’

Canyonlands National Park, Islands in the Sky -- Photo by Pat Bean


“What is the feeling when you’re driving away from people, and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? It’s the too huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” — Jack Kerouac.

Travels With Maggie

Good-byes and hellos with months between hugs from loved family members have long been a part of my life. It began when I left home at 16, continued when my children left home and is still a way of life today.

My five children are not among those who settled down in the same town in which they grew up, the kind of place where your best friend is that freckled-face boy or curly-haired redhead girl who sat behind you in kindergarten.

For people who need roots – and a part of me envies them – it’s a great life. But my children must have had too much of my wander lust in their genes to take this route.

They scattered to the four winds, almost before the ink on their high school diplomas was dry. At one time, I had a daughter in Canada, a son in Korea, a son in Japan, a son in Hawaii and a daughter in Utah. A few years later and they were all scattered elsewhere.

For this mom, who had long dreamed of living on the road as William Least Heat Moon did in “Blue Highways,” this wasn’t a bad thing. When I sold or gave away most of my possessions and took to the road in a 22-foot RV with my dog, Maggie, I wasn’t leaving any child behind.

My living on the road has meant I probably get to see my children more than I would if Maggie and I had stayed put – but certainly not as often as the mom whose children live next door, or even just across town. It means my hugs have to be squeezed into limited visits.

I’ve come to think of my life as one of those bitter-sweet oxymorons. While I love the hugs and hellos I also treasure the good-byes. There’s still way too much of the world out there I still haven’t seen.

I’m always hearing people say they want my life. I usually believe a few of them.

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