Today I drove through the country to get to my scheduled school workshop. The point being that I drove through the country and not that I went to another school workshop. Even though the workshop was good (Perceptual Control Theory and applications in the classroom) the drive to and from it was even better. It took me around twenty-five minutes to get somewhere that could have taken me only fifteen. But, I had a mission in mind......
I knew that if I continued driving south from the city that I would eventually run into a cross-road that would get me to the south-west part of the city that I needed to be in. I gave myself plenty of time so as not to be late for the training, and enough time to drive slowly and look at the farms in the area. By far, it was the prettiest part of this area that I have traveled so far. Slightly rolling hills, houses set back off the road, ranch style home intermingled with older country farm homes. The kinds of places you know for sure that work is happening and that at the end of the day, you could sit for a spell on the porch and watch the traffic go by.
Which reminds me of an encounter yesterday at the post office I had here in town. I needed to send some packages out and wanted to pick up some postcards to send to some friends. I stopped by the Old Salem post office downtown knowing I could accomplish both things there. It was there that I realized I was in what seemed like another world when I heard a lady from the museum giving directions to a man, who along with his wife and daughter, where visiting the Historical Living Museum of Salem. In passing, I heard her give him directions about how he could just walk right out the front doors and take the first road to the right to get to the historic buildings. To which he replied "Oh no! I'll be driving around the back o' this place cause it's the only place I saw that I can by cigarettes and I ain't had one in THREE hours!" I chuckled as I walked out the door with my postcards and stamps. Not that I was laughing at him, his need for a smoke, of how he even said it, but more at myself being in a place that is so different than I've been in the last twenty years of my life.
On the way home I traveled the same way. I noticed a blacksmith shop on the corner of one of the turns I made and I made sure to stop by to check it out. The Smithy wasn't in so I peeked through the doors and got a real good eyeful of some of the work he has done. It looked like a shop that had been there for years. I'm going to return to see if I can actually go in and see his work. On the last leg of my trip home, I deviated from the path a bit to do a little more exploring. To my benefit, I came across an antique store (which was also closed) that I will be SURE to visit soon. I saw a couple of Tiffany lamps in the window and am curious to see if they are authentic. Tomorrow I am going to travel the same way to catch all the things I missed today.