Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Turned Around


Sunday morning my best laid plans for getting to the Learning Solutions conference in Orlando, Florida got turned around. News about flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi, my direct route, and word of more of the same on my alternate route through Arkansas encouraged me to play it safe. So I made it as far east as Austin, Texas and and turned around for home.


In Austin I decided to try for my alternate route through Arkansas. Increasingly dire warnings on the news and Facebook friends postings about heavy weather nixed that idea. I emailed the conference producer that I wouldn't be able to make it to present my session. I felt a kind of despair for a little while. What made the fear fade was hearing from a friend that I needed to ask God for guidance then decide then let go. So I did.

A hundred miles west of Abilene, Texas for no particular reason I pulled off Interstate 20 and walked around a bit. I had my BeBop drone with me. I wanted to take it aloft but was cautious as it was windy. In the end I let it fly. And then I was rewarded by this photo.

Photo of tilled soil with tire tracks turning away from a weedy field

I decided then to go off the Interstate. I got to visit several very small Texas towns. I experienced life through others' lenses. I flew my drone under a bridge over the Pecos River. I got to look down into what I think was a mine entrance. I fumbled a bit trying to fly over and around a moving train. I have to work on being steady at the controls though. But I did get to peer down into some of rail cars passing below.


A few days before Christmas 1977 I decided to take a couple weeks leave from my posting at the US Navy's training command at Corry Station, Florida. Early one Saturday morning I packed my sea bag into the trunk of my lemon yellow Toyota Celica and headed west on Interstate 10. My goal was spending the holiday with my family in Colton, California some 2200 miles distant. I recall it was quite foggy as I sped along. Around Mobile, Alabama it started to rain. Hard. It continued to rain well into Louisiana. The gas stations I stopped at to refuel were inundated by water. In Louisiana there's this long stretch of Interstate 10 that's elevated. I have a strong memory of my Celica and me hydroplaning over the flooded bayous. By the time I got to Beaumont, Texas the clouds and rain had mostly given way to clear blue sky. Topping off at a Texaco station I asked the attendant how long to El Paso. His reply remains vidid in my memory: "Worry about that tomorrow."

So here I am, my 60 year old self, enjoying another tomorrow. I have time.


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