Sunday, April 20, 2014
Road Trip Shepherdess

I may not have been herding sheep but taking even a small group of college students on a road trip can be a wandering and confusing drive. Where were those idyllic moments when I expected to be gazing at the lovely Iowa countryside or the moments when I would pull over to photograph another gorgeous barn with a quilt painted on the side?

Posted by on 11/2/2013 12:56:00 PMComments 0
Water and Rhythms: Guest Post by Nina Metzner, Part 1
Crimson nail, index finger, road map. An unlikely trinity, but I have been hunched over them muttering for so long, I feel I’m on the verge of something prayerful. My finger traces and retraces Route 11 where it snakes along the page as if the patterns on the atlas in my lap were Braille. I am well aware that even if each little black dot marking a town was raised slightly, worrying the bumps with the fleshy pads of my fingers wouldn’t make us any less lost.
Posted by on 11/9/2013 5:56:00 PMComments 0
Water and Rhythms: Guest Post by Nina Metzner, Part 2
Our friend’s mother has kept supper for us—a supper right out of my childhood. Boiled green beans and potatoes, chicken and rice, fresh sliced tomatoes, peach cobbler and iced tea. I am so used to eating fast food, Cheetos, and canned spaghetti, the meat makes me want to weep. Her kitchen is cluttered, every counter filled with dishes and knick-knacks. The linoleum is faded and worn in the center where there has been the most traffic. Around the edges it is still patterned, although yellowed with age. Sugar and crumbs crunch beneath our feet and some spots are sticky. The house exudes an air of productive laziness.
Posted by on 11/2/2013 12:49:00 PMComments 0
Road Trip Guest Post: “The Avenue of Saints” by Mary Ellen Wright
                                                 The Avenue of Saints

Vision music praises Holy Mother

on the Avenue of Saints.

Bill and I travel with little bother

while soft chords dance around us.
Posted by on 11/9/2013 5:58:00 PMComments 0
On the Road Home
The road trip I’ve repeated most often in my life runs from Iowa to North Carolina and back again. For much of my adult life I’ve lived in Iowa, but my family home was in NC, so two or three times  a year, I made the trek back and forth. I looked forward to these trips. I always feel free as soon as I take to the road, and I’ve made the trip so many times I didn’t need to worry about directions. I just took off and started driving.
Posted by on 11/2/2013 12:38:00 PMComments 0
Neil Armstrong and I
I visited Europe for the first time the summer Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, 1969. My friend Junie and I traveled with a summer-abroad program offered by the University we attended in Greensboro, NC, and by nearby Guilford, a Quaker college. We flew to England by way of Iceland as most cheap flights did at the time, landed in Brussels where we marveled at the architecture, spent a week in Paris looking at art we’d only before studied on page or screen, and settled for the summer in London.
Posted by on 10/20/2013 11:19:00 AMComments 0
Road Trip to the Beach: Part I
I saw the ocean for the first time when I was seventeen. It was a cold, gray day but the ocean seemed infinite and I fell in love. After many other beach trips, mostly sunny and filled with play, my delight in the ocean has continued to grow. The sea and the beach always call my name.
Posted by on 10/19/2013 3:37:00 PMComments 0
Beach Road Trip: Part II
Before we headed on to the beach the next morning, we gassed Crawford’s Firebird up in Laurel Hill at a country store called Cash on the Barrel Head that Junie’s pop ran. In the store Walter Cronkite was always pea-green on the huge television in the store because her dad was color blind and never bothered to adjust the color. We chose sodas from the old fashioned coke case where you had to stick your arm down into a slurry of ice and freezing cold water. Somehow the cokes always tasted better from there. Junie would hug her dad and we’d be off. Sometimes we tried to time the trip so we could go to Calabash where everyone headed for seafood before we set up camp at Huntington Beach State Park, and sometimes we just headed straight to the beach.
Posted by on 10/20/2013 11:18:00 AMComments 0
Childhood Road Trips
My earliest road trip memories came from when my family traveled a couple of time a year from western North Carolina across the Smokey Mountains to visit my father’s parents on the family farm in eastern Kentucky. Interstates 40 and 75 didn’t exist then, so we usually followed U.S. 25 north across the southwestern tip of Virginia into eastern Kentucky. U.S. 25 was then a narrow two-lane road that wound and twisted through steep mountain passes and along the French Broad and Cumberland rivers. Dropoffs on the outer edge of the road plunged down steeply into valleys and what were called “The Nars,” small narrow gaps between the mountains. Sometimes we drove through the “The Nars” and other times we wound our way to the top of a steep mountains and down again.
Posted by on 10/19/2013 3:41:00 PMComments 0

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