To get to this small town, I drive 65 miles through some incredibly beautiful Midwestern plains and grasslands, past cattle grazing and farmers, even this late in the year, plowing under the remains of their crops. Idyllic doesn’t even begin to describe it. And then, after breakfast, I drive another 15 miles to another small, dying town where I own and operate a Route 66 welcome center and museum in an old gas station, to which travelers flock like pilgrims to the Promise Land just to see what we offer here. And all day I get to meet interesting people who, because they’re usually living their own dream of traveling the Mother Road, are almost always cheerful and chatty and most eager to hang out for a spell and regale me with stories of their travels or of their childhoods.
Ok, so what’s not to love about that? Absolutely nothing. It’s just that I am at the point where everything is in danger of becoming too familiar, too everyday. I don’t ever want my Route 66 life to become unromantic just because I’m living it rather than imagining it. I want very badly not to become too complacent because of the familiarity of it all. I don’t want to become jaded, unappreciative of what I have. I can’t even name many other people I know who are living precisely the life they dreamed of in their childhood. Furthermore, I know a good number of people who envy my life. (Actually, my childhood dream involved owning a motel and not a museum, but the only difference is that the museum is a lot less work. I get to meet the same travelers, but I only have to clean one toilet and I don’t get wakened in the middle of the night by latecomers.). I am so very lucky.
What this boils down to, I guess, is that I must be diligent in finding and recognizing the freshness of my life every day. I must never become too content, and I must continue to look upon every single day as new and unique.
I got to Afton Station an hour before official opening time and wrote the above in an attempt to stay awake to digest all that deliciousness from Clanton's. The monotonous hum of the wall furnace isn’t helping my lethargy at all. I feel like I’m being lulled into slumber. I do hope some noisy, raucous travelers show up to get my blood circulating. Today’s bright sun and relatively warm temperatures are expected to last all week.
First to show up here was David and his intrepid band of helpers. Today, they’re sealing the concrete floor of Big Ugly. Tomorrow they’re picking up the big stanchion that will hold the gigantic vintage D-X sign that we’ve had for years. David located a stanchion a while ago, but had to line up the proper equipment to remove it from it’s current spot about 15 miles away and re-erect it here. Betty dropped in for a little while, but I spent the entire morning visitorless. I worked on the slide show, and now it actually plays and has captions. It has lots of glitches to work out, but I’m still learning.
1:15 p.m. Visitor Count = 0. Hmm. . . This could be the first day since Jan. 13th that we’ve had no visitors. I don’t like it one bit! But, there are almost 2 hours to go, so I still have hope.
3:00 p.m. It happened. ZERO visitors today. Depressing. . . but relaxing, too. I'll survive.