Driving for eight hours on interstate highways, out of suburbia and into the parched corn and bean fields of northern Illinois, then southern Wisconsin, the growing doom of drought was evident. Ears of coveted corn on the cob, locally grown, are all but lost this year and the rise in food prices for corn products and by-products is imminent in an already fragile economy.
Hawks, however, were still soaring majestically above, searching for food. I saw cranes and egrets and other waterfowl wending their way up north in a primal pull as wilted crops slowly turned to a lush green in northwestern Wisconsin where there has been plenty of rain.
Nearing the Wisconsin Dells, I passed a small truck that was pulling a compact trailer. Elmhurst Boy Scouts was stenciled onto the rear of the trailer. As I passed on the left, I recognized him immediately. He was the Boy Scout leader of the grade school Jennifer and Katy attended – and a leader still, it seems. The year Sue and I were PTA co-presidents, this very same man invited us to attend a Boy Scout dinner. He was elated that we actually came, saying PTA presidents never come. I knew then, as I know now, that it is the small considerations in life that make a difference. We were both so glad that we took the time to attend and were treated like royalty that night – and the best stew I’ve ever eaten. It is funny, isn’t it, the memories we pass by as we switch lanes in life?
As you may already know, I usually have an audio book to help me pass the time on a long drive. The Paris Wife did just that, interspersed with Wisconsin Public Radio. Soon, the mighty Mississippi was crossed and soon this sweet little girl gave her Yia Yia a much appreciated hug and a kiss. An unplanned trip on this journey of life on one of the hottest weeks of a very hot summer with a lovely reward at the end of the day.
‘Tis good to switch lanes in life every-now-and then, don’t you agree?