God Bless America

Vacations are a wonderful thing for so many reasons.  In addition to the obvious time away from the hustle and bustle of jobs, daily chores and routines, it’s also a time to relax and take a breath.  While everyone enjoys their breaks differently, some completing tasks they have been putting off or simply haven’t had time for like painting, gardening and lawn work; others escape to places away from home.  Places maybe they enjoy each year like a summer home or campground, others to exotic places, different states or even far away countries/islands.  Whatever you choose, one thing is for sure, the time passes way too quickly in most cases.  My Uncle (who coincidently retired from the Automobile Club of America / AAA), taught me years ago, that “getting there” was half the fun.  He suggested that each time you go somewhere you should take a different route.  This allows you to see different sites, enjoy different scenery and maybe if you are lucky, you might learn something new in the process.  Right after I moved to Virginia, I was gifted a book entitled “Beach to Bluegrass” by Tennis.  This book followed US Highway 58 (500 miles) from the beach across the bottom of the state to the Bluegrass trail.  The book named over 100 sites from unique areas to Civil War battlefields to historical buildings and legends, all while only getting off the “beaten path” one mile north or south.  I completed the book, touring all the various sites over a three year period, and to this day continue to travel optional routes to get to the destination.  Last weekend, en route to a county fair, I got off the highway and traveled down a one lane road for several miles and came across stacked bales of hay, that had the words “God Bless America” painted on them.  Being extremely patriotic by nature, I pulled over to “take in” the scene.  This simple message, being displayed in such a manner that made a statement to all who passed by the roadside farm was mesmerizing.  Before I knew it, there were about 6 other vehicles that had pulled over to take it all in.  One of the gentlemen, who was sporting a Vietnam hat, started to sing the song “God Bless America” and before long, all had joined in to finish the verse.  However, you enjoy your road trips, in the future try a different path, perhaps one “less taken”, and remember getting there is half the fun!


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