I took a three hour road trip today all by myself. It seems I’m doing more of this lately after nearly twenty years of having either one or both kids in the car with me most of the time. Most moms don’t get a whole lot of quiet, all alone car time, and I’m not complaining. There’s something really meditative about being alone with your thoughts as the mile markers whiz past on a lovely, sunny Autumn day. I listen to a lot of public radio when I’m alone. And I think. I plan lessons yet to be taught. I mull over paint colors to try if I ever get around to painting the one room in my house that I’ve never really been satisfied with. I make mental lists of things that I need to take care of…like vet appointments and birthday cards. Car time is usually productive time for me.
I do a lot of writing in my head on long car trips, too. As a teacher of writing, I spend a great deal of time teaching students how to get started, but I usually feel like a fraud because a lot of what I tell them to try, I never really do as a writer. I would estimate that about 80 percent of what I plan to write never sees a piece of paper because it’s all in my head when I sit down to write a report, or an essay, or this blog. Then, I just move it from my head to the paper or computer screen.
Today was a little different. There was a lot of stuff floating around in my head that didn’t have anything to do with anything. Cotton candy thoughts. Dandelion fuzz thoughts. Lint from the dryer thoughts. However, I managed to think of ten things I’d like answers to, so maybe the trip wasn’t a total waste.
Here’s the list:
1. Why are there so many single shoes along highways? Do people throw other peoples’ shoes out of car windows on purpose? When the one-shoe wearing individuals show up wherever they were going, how do they explain why they are only wearing one shoe?
2. Wouldn’t it make more sense to make tires hard and roads soft? We spend a lot of time repairing roads in this great nation of ours. If the roads were squishy, wouldn’t they last longer? And what about the tires? If they were harder, they wouldn’t get flat.
3. Do birds get woodticks? What about Woodticks? Do they get Deer Ticks?
4. Do turtles, preparing to cross a highway, ever look at the squashed turtles and think, “whoa….this probably isn’t a good idea?”
5. Why is it that a dog on a leash will find the one thing to get wrapped around in the yard every single time? Are dogs smarter than they look? Is this a way to try and convince dog owners that putting a dog on a leash is an unnatural act?
6. When my foot falls asleep, it feels numb. Why are we only aware of our blood circulating in our bodies when it isn’t? Shouldn’t we feel our blood whooshing around all the time?
7. Thong Underwear. Why? I mean really….why?
8. How hungry was the person who invented sauerkraut? I like the stuff, but I have to wonder about the German who created it. And then tried to get other people to try it.
9. Candy Korn. Does anyone really like it? Even writing that just now made my teeth hurt.
10. Pat Robertson and the 700 Club. Who are the 700? And when the club meets, what do they do at their meetings?
Back to work, now.