Nothing like a cross-country drive — oceans, mountains, rivers, cities, plains!

Some peeps pay tons of money to go see some other countries — the scenery, the antiquities, the cuisines. I am more than happy to skip that and take a drive across a coupla states to visit family.

I am always struck by the absolutely incomparable beauty of this country of ours. In a few hours, for a few dollars, you can see everything: pounding surf; towering mountain ranges; busy inland rivers, teeming with barges and tugboats; skylines and city-scapes with high-rise silhouettes and domed seats of government.

I guess that my favorite view will always be the plains; mile after rolling mile of flatland fields. For some reason, crops in rows and cattle in pastures always seem so reassuring. There will be streams marking the borders of some fields; hedgerows and country roads, marking the edges of others. Though I was never much good at it, and haven’t even tried during the city-years of my life, growing things in dirt seems somehow like a magical (and very rewarding) process. And those fields, solid with millions of tiny yellow flowers on the tops of tall weeds — they make me smile every time.

“The earth laughs in flowers.” Ralph Waldo Emerson