What always amazes me when Laura and I travel is how much time we spend talking. No radio. No distractions. Just mile upon mile of the best conversation ever. We talk about our faith and question each other back and forth as to how that faith fits in an ever more strange world. We talks sports, our jobs at KU, our sports pursuits, our daughters, grandson and our crazy dreams of all we hope to do and see. There is a satisfaction that comes from these conversations impossible to describe other than to say pure love. Without directly saying thanks, our conversations are a statement of gratitude to our Savior for the life we share in joy.
Do not let me forget to mention the laughter, though. Roaring laughter, the kind of laughter that gives you an ache in the gut. Often that laughter comes from something totally off the wall I have done. We drive down the road with Laura shaking her head and laughing. Long ago she gave up trying to figure out from where the wackiness of my mind stems. She just shrugs and jumps in with me head first.
For every nice photograph we take, such as the puffy clouds doting the eastern Colorado sky, there are more along the lines of me and the bear. Yes, it is odd, at my age, to have your photograph taken with a stuffed bear in a Limon, Colorado, gas stop. It is crazy, though, for that bear to maul me in a scene from Legends of the Fall. Just ask the perplexed clerk taking this all in from behind the counter. Laura shoots away shaking her head all the time, which I then jokingly remind her leads to the blurred motion in the images.
What about the sign advertising free high-speed internet and waffles? Chicken and waffles is a Southern, soul food delicacy, but a simple warm waffle while soul surfing on Al Gore’s “world-wide web” is more than just nourishing. We had to stop and take a quick snapshot of these essentials of life.
After the laughter, we get back to serious conversations that now include the drought conditions of the Midwest. The usual summer road construction led to a mini dust storm blowing over the interstate in western Kansas. We ponder the magnitude of living through the dust bowl years. We head east to our home where once others fought through dusty white-outs in hopes of a better life in California. Could it really happen again? We hate seeing our state so parched, just as we hated being so close last week to the aching sadness of Aurora, Colorado, where a crazed gunman brought us all to our knees again in horror.
We wish we had answers, but we know there are none for our’s and the world’s endless sin. We can only look to our Savior’s mercy, grace and the gift of eternal salvation. With that, we have worked our way back to the beginning. Before we realize, we pull up to our home in Topeka. Another long journey and our joyous conversations conclude with a final prayer of thanks for our safe return.