Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Rest stops on a trip down memory lane

That's me on the left.
Last year at this time I was driving desperately down I-95 trying to get to Florida for my mother's last days; this year I'm making the same trip minus the desperation. I left early Monday and so far I've spent time with an old friend in North Carolina and another in Savannah, along with some interesting birds and dragonflies. Now I'm having a restful lunch near Port Orange, Florida, before making the final push to my Dad's house near Orlando. Eventually I'll be turning around to make the drive back--when I feel like it. Well, next week sometime, but no rush.

In the past two days I've spent time on Frog Level Road and marveled once again over Horse Stamp Church Road, names that make me wonder about origins. (A church named after a postage stamp portraying a horse? A church where a horse once tromped on some important person? And what is a "frog level"? The mind boggles.)

The friends I've visited are the oldest kind--I've known them both since sixth or seventh grade, and while we don't see each other often, we always pick up right where we left off. One brought out a stack of old photos and letters from our youth when we were thin and full of smiles and energy; I read a note I scribbled to complain about my hated driver's ed class, and I saw a young person driven even then to transform anguish into comedy. (For the record, the only B I received in high school was in driver's ed, primarily because I flunked parallel parking. Today I totally rock at parallel parking--and I taught both of my kids to drive a manual transmission car--so yes, I kind of resent that B.)

Both of these friends inspire me with the good work they do, in their jobs and in their communities, and they know how to ask the kinds of questions that cut to the heart of what we care about. Old friends remind me who I was and who I am, but they also fill me with curiosity about who we will all be further down the road. 

The only way to find out, though, is to get back in the car. 

Brown-headed  nuthatch

Little blue heron

It was so hot the mud looked appealing...almost.

Cattle egret, breeding plumage

I love the pastel colors on this guy's head.

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