Between Point A & Point B

I drive a combination of street to interstate to scenic highway on my fifteen mile drive to work… usually on auto-pilot since I have to be there at 0730 and I typically don’t truly wake up until 10-ish. No traffic, mind you. We’ll just chalk that up to one of the positives of small town life. On the way home I typically drive the slightly more leisurely route of scenic highway straight into town… right-left-right-left home. Thrilling, eh? I’d shake it up a little more if I could, but unless I want to wander through “Do I hear a banjo?” country or meander up and down a couple of extra streets just for the hell of it then this little bit of routine in my life isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

Hence, it bores me.
I don’t like to be bored.

I decided this week to pay more attention to things on my drive to and fro. I don’t have a Bubba-will-run-over-me-with-his-big-damn-truck death wish therefore literally stopping to smell the roses is not an option. Not to mention, it’s winter. There aren’t any roses. Hell, there are no roses any time of year.

Pine trees? Yes.
Yards all a-clutter with broken vehicles? Yes.
Barney Fife? Yes.
River? Yes.
The highest gas prices in the state? Yes.
Livestock auction barn? Yes.
The occasional spectacular sunrise? Yes.
Dead skunks? Yes.
Shoe hanging on power line? Yes.
Soy bean field? Yes.
New taco stand brilliantly located right next to Taco Bell? Yes.
Billboards? Yes.
Crystal shop? Yes.
Deer? Yes.
Wal-bloody-Mart? Yes.
Damn, I wish we still had a Piggly Wiggly.
I just wanted to write the words “Piggly Wiggly”.

Roses? Not so much.

Also, a hefty portion of my drive involves crossing a dyke [see picture]. It is way too far down from highway to lake water on one side and way, way, way too far down to the valley on the other. I dread breaking down on the damn thing or getting a flat tire. The last thing I need is thoughts of me and car tumbling to our deaths, though I do keep a screwdriver in the car (to break the window) in the God-forbid, off chance that I get run off the road one day and into the lake. Crap! I’m thinking about it. Purge! Purge! Purge!

Still, my drive trumps toll booths and bumper-to-bumper traffic and smog and crazy taxi drivers and even earlier mornings due to the battle that must be fought in order to reach the office. I know it trumps all those things because, in that other lifetime of mine, I robotically did the traffic thing… every single morning… every single evening.

I miss the conveniences of the city.
Sometimes I even miss having a real career.
The commute I do not miss.

“Some of the secret joys of living are not found by rushing from point A to point B, but by inventing some imaginary letters along the way.” ~Douglas Pagels, These Are the Gifts I'd Like to Give to You


  1. What a scenic drive. I loved your description. I also find that if I pay a little closer attention, I can find the beauty and the humour in just about anything.

  2. Seconding Patti, I enjoyed the detail in this. My America is made of movies, blogs and imagination. Occasionally the detail in the movies and blogs makes me realize that it’s a real place like England, where real people live, weeds grow, people throw shoes up into a tree or power line, drop litter and so forth.

    But I don’t like driving, and sympathize with you.

  3. I throughly enjoyed taking this drive with you.

  4. Commuting was sent directly from Satan to test and torture us all. I am desperately looking for a role that will allow me to either work FROM home or at least closer to it.

    But your description? Oh how I love it. And I think if I could only enjoy a drive similar to yours (and not have to brave public transport - and perverts - everyday) I would be just that little bit happier.

    Wonderful as always, Beth.

  5. In a way, I envy you. My commute is all of a mile, one traffic light if I time it wrong. Sometimes I miss the longer drives to work to enjoy my coffee, wake up, and see some scenery ... altho I drove the Garden State Parkway in NJ so that last part was totally fictional!

    Also, I too have to report to work at 0730. Wish the founding fathers had decided THAT was cruel and unusual punishment...

  6. It really is all about the view. The el train I take to work usually smells like piss and dirty feet, but just as we pass the bend to Sheridan, I get the most amazing 90 second view of Graceland Cemetery. And I miss say, with its lakes and trees and open space, it definitely adds a little grace to my day.

  7. Patti ~ It is far prettier than the picture actually. I have to remind myself of this fact.

    Vincent ~ This place is very real. Very human.

    Mary ~ Perhaps we can drive together someday.

    Stereo ~ Oh, I am glad I don't have to take public transport. ;)

    lgesin ~ Cruel & unusual, indeed.

    Noel ~ Ninety seconds of serenity from the el? Awesome!

  8. Yes, you're drive definitely trumps "regular" commutes! I, too, had a hellish commute every single day; thankfully, not so much anymore. My schedule is more flexible and mine, so while I may occasionally run into the dreaded commuter traffic, I am free of it for the most part.

    I love what you wrote about taking the time to pay attention to things around you even if it's not exactly smelling the roses. I've made that same pledge and find that I see my drives as adventures now, curious to see what I will find each time. Even early in the morning!

  9. Brilliant driving experience. A wonderful description.

    And I wish we had a Piggly-Wiggly 'round here as well. I hear tell that Elvis shows up at them from time to time...

  10. So much of life can be a journey, just like the scenic drive, from Point A to Point B. All we have to do is figure out what we want our Point B to be, and then decide how we want to get there.

    Happy traveling...


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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