Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Memories are all I have left

I started thinking back, daydreaming I guess you might say, while doing the dishes. I got this overwhelming need to write. So here I am. Of course I had to wrestle the computer away from my husband but I won. Only because he got up early this morning and started writing on his blog and was almost done.

The other day we were watching the History Channel and they were showing the different National Parks. Places that we had fortunately been to while working with UShip. It made me get on the local library website and start searching for dvd's about where we had been. It happened to bring up alot of different books about Route 66 (which anyone who knows me knows that's dear to my heart). So of course I started to put Holds on anything and everything concerning Route 66 and the different places we had been on the road.

A couple days later I was notified that some of the things had came in so we walked together to the library to pick them up. I'm so glad Michael went with me as there were too many for only me to carry home! I had some work to do around the house so I wasn't able to sit right down and go through everything I had picked up. Later that evening when things had slowed down, I sat on the couch and started looking at all the different titles. Putting them in piles of what I wanted to look at first and ones that could wait.

Here I was, dvd's and books surrounding me on all sides. I picked up a book and opened it. No pictures, bummer. I love to look at the pictures. I started to put the book back in the bag to return it when I happened to read a line or two on a page. It sparked my interest, I grabbed my glasses I had bought at the local store for a dollar. Yes, magnified reading glasses. My eyesight is no longer perfect as they once were when I was younger. I just hate it when people say, "It's because of your age" I DON'T need to be reminded all the time! Believe me, I remember it every morning when I wake up nowdays.

Ok, ok, get back on track. I started reading in a book named "Route 66 Iconography of the American Highway" I learned alot of interesting facts concerning my favorite highway. I was really taken back when I read that inorder to promote the highway they had a foot race! I can't hardly fathem a 2,400 mile foot race but they had one. In fact instead of just the race being from Santa Monica, California to Chicago, it coninued to Madison Gardens in New York City. It took the guy that won, 84 days to run the 3,400 miles. Can you imagine? I sure can't. I've been down those roads a few times over, in a vehicle of course, I just can't imagine a person actually running all that way! After looking through the book and stopping every so often to read different things, I learned alot. I even told a few people that I wished I had thought about all this Route 66 stuff back in school cause I could of wrote one hell of a report. Some of you reading this that have to write a report for social studies maybe, you might want to take my advice and do it on the "Mother Road".

Ok I'm drifting again. As I was doing dishes this morning and daydreaming, a few things entered my mind. Like my screen name, ConcreteAngel" sure I picked it because of a country song I really liked and could relate to but I realized that there was more to it. Could it also be because of my memories of traveling with my Mom and Dad while growing up? Is that why I really enjoyed our delivery business we did with UShip? Yes I think so!

For such a long time I always dreamed of being able to travel across the USA like when I was little. Being able to once again re-travel Route 66 like when I was 6 traveling out to California to go to DisneyLand with my family who is no longer with me here on earth. All I have now is the memories that lay in the back of my mind. There is no way for me to sit down and talk to them about the good old days and the adventures we had. All I have is me and my weak memory and pictures. All I can do now is look at pictures in books and watch dvd's that just might show something that will spark a memory or where I can say, I remember that! I was there! and oh yeas, there's alot of times where I say, oh wow I forgot about that but I remember now!

I love to go back in time. Go back to when my family was together, the happy times that we spent together. The tears swell up in my eyes alot of times just as they are doing now to where I have to stop a minute and get composer. Why is it so hard for me to just let loose and let the tears come freely? I know it's not healthy to hold them back all the time so why can't I just let go and go with the flow? you might say?

After I got finished with the one book I mentioned I opened another. One that had pictures! But first I was drawn to the introduction which I started reading. This book was called, Route 66 The Mother Road". I had seen this same book out west in a trading post called YellowHorse and now after looking through it I really wished I'd have spent the 20.00 and bought it. It is in celebration of the 75th anniversary. I read the introduction and it touched me so much that yes here came the water works again. I just can't explain how it is to be so young and be thew only living person in your family. I know that there has got to be others out there but not that many I'm sure. Within 2 short years I had lost every one. Maybe that's why I feel so close to this highway. It is the vacation I remember the most. Of course I remember other ones and there were alot but I remember this one the most.

I had talked about that trip with Michael and how much fun we had and how I would love it if he could see the things I had seen. Well, back when we were delivering items for UShip, Michael was basically the number one driver but my job was to get us from point 1 to point 2 and all points in between. It seems that in the back of my mind there was a hidden agenda. It was even hidden from me for a long time! It only really hit me when we had a client ask if we could do a job going out west. Oh alright, I admit it. I would get very excited when we would happen to get anywhere close to Route 66 or a destination that I had been to on that long ago trip. Then after our son joined the Army and did his basics in Ft Leonardwood Missouri and we just happened to stay in a motel that just so happened to be on the corner of Route 66 did that bug bite me. I never realized that we had actually been traveling right next to that good old road several times already. Once I did, I was really attentive to the surroundings and stated seeing things that would trigger things that had been buried deep in my mind.

Michael knew of my memories of that vacation and I have to say, the more I talked about it the more interested he got until he got bit by that good old Route 66 bug too! We continued to work, traveling all over the USA but I never told him of my sneaky plans of trying to book things to get us closer and closer to riding down that path. I remember the first time he got bit by the bug. We always stopped at the Flying J's. We stopped at one in Missouri and I was taking my time getting out of the truck. He had went inside before me and when I went in the front door he said he had something to show me. He took me over to the shelf that was full of Tourist items filled with Route 66 stuff. Then, he said he had something else to show me when we got done inside. We finished up inside and he took me by the hand and led me out the door. We started walking back out towards the truck and I said "I thought you were gonna show me something?" he said yes just hold on a minute, we didn't stop at the truck, we kept on walking through the parking lot out by the road when he stopped and said,"look!" I looked up to where he was pointing and there it was, a Route 66 road sign. We were ON route 66! That I think is when he got bit for real. After that I noticed that he too was watching for the 66 sign.

It was always a dream I had that I had never told to anyone. I wanted to travel the USA, I wanted to relive that trip traveling down Route 66. And now I have, well at least parts of it but I still have that passion, in fact I have more of that passion wanting to go down that road all the way from one end to the other. Taking time to smell the roses, searching out every little piece of the past that there is in my memory bank and.... taking the time to cry. Cry from the joys as well as the sorrows of things that can no longer be. Now, it is time for me to stop as I can no longer see the keys to type through the tears that are filling my eyes.

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