Far Away Places

When I was growing up in small town Nebraska in the 50s and 60s, we didn’t do a lot of traveling. We took a family vacation once a year —usually to Colorado—and we made occasional trips to visit aunts and uncles who lived near us in Nebraska. Maybe twice a year, we would drive the 65 miles or so to Omaha to shop, but it was a Big Deal.

I laugh about that now because I really don’t think much about driving the 65 miles to Fort Collins to see Jen for the day. And the round trip mileage from our AZ house to Bec’s is in the neighborhood of 40 or 50 miles, a trip I make without a second thought. It is not at all unusual to put 50 miles on my car’s odometer in a day if I’m doing a lot of errands.

I didn’t set foot onto an airplane until I was out of high school. Air travel was so different back then (when dinosaurs walked the earth). Stewardesses (for that’s what they were called) wore high heels and perky caps and fed you miserable little meals on tiny plates that balanced on a relatively normal-sized tray that was large enough to also fit a beverage. Whaaaaaat?

I flew across an ocean for the first time to Hawaii when I was in my late 20s, and finally went to Europe when I was 40 years old.

Times are so different now. Despite the fact that the flying experience is so much more unpleasant than it used to be, flights are cheaper. What’s more, the internet makes communication easier, making travel less, well, scary and isolated.

As I write this blog, one of our children and his wife are traveling in India. INDIA. Our children have traveled plenty, more power to them. But India. While they were both very excited to be able to have this experience, I think even they were somewhat leery. The trip advising team told our meat-loving son that it might behoove him to limit his meals to vegetables. India is very far away and oh-so-different from the good old U.S. of A. In fact, oddly enough, the time difference is 11-1/2 hours. I don’t know how that even happens.

As a sign of the times, their Facebook posts and email communications have allowed those of us who stayed on domestic soil to keep track of them, thanks be to God.

On Saturday, Bill and I stopped by our house to see how work on our floors was progressing. (Very nicely, thank you very much.) Where do you want to have lunch, Bill asked me.

Dare I tell him?

“To be honest,” I said carefully, “all this talk about their trip to India has made me hungry for Indian food.” I assured him I would be happy to go by myself and he could find himself a nice, juicy burger.

“No, I’ll go with you,” he said.

And so for one day we ate the way Dave was probably eating, without the fear of parasites……

My camera (and photographic ability) make this food look less appealing than it actually was, which I assure you was yummy.

But it once again made me think about living in the 50s in Small Town America. No Indian food. In fact, no Mexican food, no Chinese food, no pho, no falafels, no sushi. Fried chicken, meatloaf, steak. Not that there anything wrong with that.

For the next two weeks or so, my prayers will be directed towards India, even if I’m not.

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