I imagine that you all are just about sick of hearing about grandchildren.
I left that happy place and headed home. It is a five and a half hour drive. It doesn't bother me. I like driving alone sometimes. I just bring up Pandora radio on the cell phone, put it in its handy little holder and drive home listening to Mumford and Sons Radio. That alone is a pleasure, since Tim doesn't care for that kind of music. He wants to listen to classic rock. I don't mind that, but I enjoy listening to new music too. It's nice to click off the miles listening to something different.
I'm afraid that I was doing an awful lot of day dreaming on the way home. You see, John (who writes the blog 'Beans and I on the Loose' ) is a full time traveller. He and his cat Beans are always exploring some mapdot, and that life fascinates me. Like as not, I pull up where ever he is, courtesy of Mr. Google, and read about it too. Anyways, if you are not following him, I encourage you to check him out. Right now, he is doing a fascinating series on Ambrose ND, which is very close to the Canadian border. The town has a population of 17 people. 17! I cannot even imagine a town that small, really.
The cool thing is that as the population dwindled, houses were simply abandoned. It is a ghost town. Old homes falling into ruin, filled with the momentos of those lives. John's been walking around documenting this stuff, and I've been poring over these posts. The more I study the pictures, the more I read about the place, the more questions I have. If curiosity killed the cat, I gotta say that I'm very grateful to have been born another species altogether.
I daydreamed as I drove. One of the houses that I pass every time is in Elysburg, PA, at the intersection of Rt 54 and Sleepy Hollow Road, and I always feel sorry for it, and wonder about the stories it could tell, about the families that lived under its roof. But with all of John's explorings in my head, for the first time, I really just wanted to stop and explore the place. Get out. Walk around. Peek in windows.
It was all I could do to talk myself out of it. I've only passed through the area, and I'm not at all familiar with it. That's the sort of misadventure that can get a person shot, some folks being mighty protective of their property.
So I drove 277 miles, passing old houses, unoccupied, falling down. I studied them all as I passed them, and I wondered about them and what they held, I wanted to explore them all, try to recreate the people who lived there, piece together their story.
The world contains so many stories, and once again, I was grappling with this wild desire to know them all. Unfortunately, the ones that interest me the most it seems are the ones that I can never know. The people who could have told them are gone from this world.