New Perspectives about Everyday Life

Last week David and I drove 2,565 miles in five days. We traveled to Ohio for the Buckeye Book Festival first. There were 100 authors signing their books at the festival in Wooster. We signed lots of books and had meaningful conversations with readers. Normally there is a line of people who are waiting to have their books signed at our books talks. The book festival allowed for more casual and in-depth conversations. Attendees had lists of authors they wanted to visit, and our table was one of the stops for a number of people. It was really good to see that the love of reading is alive and well.

We enjoyed connecting with family during our short visit to Ohio. We visited one of David's sisters and one of mine. The distance prevents us from visiting often or from them visiting us, so it was a pleasure to catch up with what is happening in their families.

From Ohio we traveled to Hanover, Pennsylvania for a book talk at the Guthrie Memorial Library and we stayed at the lovely bed and breakfast called "The Beechmont." The host, Kathryn, is warm and friendly and cooks gourmet breakfasts. Staying there is like a vacation in itself.

Now came the hectic part of our trip. We traveled from Hanover to Hickory, North Carolina for a talk on Tuesday evening. The trip down Interstate 81 through Virginia is so beautiful. If we had more time, we would have driven part of the way on the Skyline Drive and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Instead we had to go directly there with the fastest route. Even though the traffic was heavy, this was not without its advantages. When we got on Interstate 77, we drove over a ridge that looked down over a gorgeous panoramic view. It was in a place called Fancy Gap in southern Virginia. Someday I want to go back there and see more if it, possibly from the Blue Ridge Parkway. Even though most of the colors were past their peak, it was still breathtaking to see such beauty. We noticed the colors down there are not as bright as they are in New England, but they are deeper tones… sometimes almost a burgundy color.

Our last day of travel was the most hectic of all. We drove more than 800 miles from Hickory, North Carolina, back home. The traffic was so heavy the whole way home, that it seemed like a holiday weekend and yet it was in the middle of a normal week. The truck traffic was more intense than we've ever seen it. Every time we travel on the highways of this country, David and I remark about how we should be moving all these materials by rail. But then again, we're not in charge of these things.

David and I like to find the hidden gems for places to eat during our travels, and these are not normally chain restaurants. Earlier this year we discovered the Southern Inn Restaurant in Lexington, Virginia, and we so we stopped there to have a delicious lunch. I love Lexington! My introduction to it was when David and I decided to go there to do our Christmas shopping the year when we lived in Charlottesville, Virgina. There were big snowflakes falling lazily onto Main Street as we went from one shop to the next. It was like being inside a Dickens novel. The town itself is built on a hill and reminds me of a New England town. It even has a white church with a steeple in the middle of town.

After our break in Lexington, we got back on the highway and drove the rest of the way home. It seemed like there was danger all around us… several near misses, and then we also saw several accidents. When we finally drove in our own driveway, not long before midnight, we breathed a prayer of thanks that we had arrived safely home.

This morning I awoke giving thanks for my everyday life. I often associate the word "mundane" with the words "everyday life." But that is one of the amazing things about traveling, is that I gain new perspectives — not just about the world "out there" but also about the life David and I have chosen. It becomes a pleasure to fold clean kitchen towels as I watch the birds at the feeder outside my kitchen window and to know I can hang our clothes in closets instead of living out of suitcases. It feels comforting to have a house to live in, rather than being confined to a van that is moving at 70 miles an hour down the highway.

My mother always said that the best part of traveling is arriving back home. I used to wonder what she was talking about. But now I know. It has to do with gaining a new outlook on the life I live and being grateful for what I have.

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6 thoughts on “New Perspectives about Everyday Life”

  1. Oh, I need to check your website more often. I had no idea you were so very close to us — if I did I would have gone to the Guthrie Library. We live in York PA. For a few years I volunteered for the York Library system of which Guthrie is part of. We travel to Hanover every Lord’s day for church. My friend and co-worker who also loved your book will also be disappointed to have missed your talk. I am sure if she knew about it she would have told me.

    Also the last blog you posted about giving book talks my friend in MO sent me an email about it with a link. This is what she said in the email to me “I thought you might be interested in this: Chip MacGregor is the head of the literary agency that represents me, and apparently Saloma Furlong is one of his authors.” J. B. Cheaney writes young adult novels.

    Looking forward to you next book,
    Michele

    1. Michele, I am so sorry I missed you. I wish there would have been wider coverage of our talk at the Guthrie. The last time we were there, we got a radio interview and newspaper coverage, so there were over 200 people in attendance. This time there were 60, and my guess is that many people didn’t know about it.

      I am not one of Chip McGregor’s authors, though I would love to be. I was in touch with his assistant. Amanda, and I offered to write a guest post for his blog. That must have been the link that your friend sent you.

      I’m sure I will be back to your area at some point in the future. I hope our paths will cross. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Welcome home, Saloma! You expressed my feelings exactly after so much travel this year. As I write, I am listening to the gentle chimes in the Key of C on the deck. The cattle are grazing on the hills beyond us, and the mountains are purple. So many blessings around us every day!

    I’m glad you wrote about your trip. Sorry the long drive home was so hectic. I too hate the feeling of danger from too much traffic on the highways. Add bad weather to those trucks and you have a recipe for disaster. I breathed a sigh of relief along with you when you got back home.

    My last two blog posts are about travel also, but this time, I didn’t do any book events. Glad to hear that yours went well!

    1. Shirley, I can just picture you in your home with your beautiful view and the windchimes ringing. Sounds comfy-cozy.

      Luckily the roads were dry most of the way home. We had that in our favor. Thanks for your good wishes.

      I will go and visit your blog today. I’ve not been around too much lately. I’m spending little time at my computer these days and more in my attic room, braiding a rug for my front hallway.

      Take good care, Shirley.

  3. Salome, after I read your blog it makes me feel so relaxed. I recall during my working years there were times when I wish I was at home but i truly loved my job. I actually missed going to work after I retired. It’s nice you get a break in your travels.
    Take advantage of your time at home, you will be more than ready for the next trip. As a reader of your books (among other Amish writers) I will be ready for the next one!

    Marge Nistler

    1. Marge, that is such a nice compliment about reading my blog… thank you!

      There are days I long for a regular job I can go to, but I also love the freedom to pursue creative endeavors, which I would lose if I did get a full-time job.

      Have a good weekend!

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