The last couple of weeks have been a good time for the Rambler...it's a cliche, maybe, to talk about "healing," but I certainly do feel more able to function and with more energy than for quite some time.
The trip south of the Longest Undefended Border in the World (!) was a great source of joy.
I should backtrack here a little bit, perhaps. When I was first able to read, we spent a lot of time with my grandparents, who subscribed to a lot of American magazines (because that's what there WAS, children, is why). They were ideal reading for a curious child: "Life" with wonderful photographs, "Look," "Collier's," and of course "The Saturday Evening Post," with plenty of fiction in every issue, terrific cartoons, Norman Rockwell covers, and all.
I was aware that we lived in Canada, and that south of us there was another country called the United States -- we were close to the border, and now and then visited a great-aunt near Seattle. But most of my awareness came from American magazines. And over time I came to the deep conviction that although the bits around the edge might be a bit dodgy, if you got into the very middle part of the United States, you would find that THAT was where the "Good People" lived. It was a pretty untested assumption, but comforting nonetheless.
And then I grew up, or at least got older, and became more worldly-wise, and dismissed that youthful impression with derision.
But every now and then I get to travel into the "very middle part of the United States," and am forced to admit, every time, "By damn, I was right in the first place."
Setting aside for the moment the stellar hospitality of my hosts in the Cheesy Bit of the Very Middle Part -- folks, they even let me cut up the lefse for the ordination dinner, I was so honoured -- just the experience of travel ... from the efforts of all at Teeny Municipal Airport, ticket agents, security crew, jet-bridge attendants, flight attendants, who all but threw me bodily onto a flight for which I turned up so late it was embarrassing...to the total strangers I encountered on the people-movers in Enormous Hub of Air Travel...I was flabbergasted, people looked me in the eye and smiled and said "hello there!" Friends, it's downright Uncanadian Behaviour. But I think I like it.
More, another time.