Healthy again I return to the road, back to freedom. I’m so excited to be able to continue the journey. I’m staying again at one of my favorite rest areas. It’s just east of Springfield Missouri on I-44, and its theme is Route 66, not far from the original Route 66.
Route 66 was opened in 1926 and was a main route for people traveling west, many to escape the dustbowl of the 1930s. I remember it as a romantic vacation destination. As a young girl watching the TV show Route 66 I dreamed of the adventures I would have traveling this highway. Route 66 became more than a highway to get to the vacation destination, by the 1980s-1990s it became a destination in itself. Many who grew up in the 60s-70s found it a nostalgic get away to remember a time forgotten by modern society. One of its nicknames “Main Street of America” (now used for US 40) became quite appropriate. Before supersizing our culture, weekends were spent hanging out on the Main Streets of America. It was the destination just as Route 66 was. It was the ultimate road trip. The highway was removed from the national highway system in 1985 and much of this iconic road would be swallowed up by something more efficient and faster…the Interstate System. It was deemed to be irrelevant. But then how do you explain the thousands that still flock to find pieces of its trail, to see buildings as memorabilia, all trying to capture the essence of the romance of an era that was significantly less than romantic. As a child I remember the 60s-70s as a romantic time but in reality, one that I didn’t see, it was a time of violence, war and hate crimes. Why do we yearn for the past? Perhaps because the present isn’t all we make it to be but can’t admit. What is so glamorous about a society that runs at the speed of light? Life becomes a blur and we miss what’s really important. Perhaps that is the real motivation behind vacations to the past, a chance so remember how much more enjoyable life was when it was a little slower.
Not relevant…as we get old the younger generation seems to like to rub it in our faces how irrelevant we are. They don’t understand the relevance of something like Route 66. It was a journey, an escape, the road to something more exciting. It was designed by the minds of the past when life was to be enjoyed, the journey as well as the destination, not rushed through as if all those moments were irrelevant. The past gives meaning and stability to the present, grounding us home when we get off the track God put us on. He never intended for his people to live at the speed of light or be so busy our brains malfunction with loss of memory. No its not early Alzheimer’s, it’s stress and busyness and we laugh it off like it is cool to accomplish more in a day than we should in a week. I must admit I am one of the guiltiest. Many times in this blog I have chastised myself for missing out on real life, missing God due to busyness and I’m sure you’ve not seen the last of one of those blogs. It was just nice for a moment this evening to reminisce of a slower life and the rewards that come with it…a life without high blood pressure and the chance for heart attack, stroke or diabetes.