Follow @EllenGrabe Grabe's Gatherings: Highway 6 Ride

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Highway 6 Ride

I drive east every weekday morning and I do it because I have it my way! (Ok, I'm no Zac Brown) Now that I am teaching in Grinnell it means earlier to rise each morning, always keeping my gas tank above the dreaded "E", and traveling along the curves of Highway 6 in order to get to my work place. 

The first reaction I usually get from people when I tell them I am driving is a scowl and an "I sure wouldn't want to drive."  I shrug them off and let them know that I enjoy my drive and my choice to drive.

7:20 AM is such a peaceful time of day.  The sun is coming up over the hills in the distance and deer are out in the fields for a quick bite to eat before taking shelter for the day.  Today was a picture perfect scene and I had to pull over to get a quick photo from my cell phone.

Although the drive is beautiful most days, I still am not the most peppy person in the mornings.  I usually turn onto Highway 6 with a Diet Mountain Dew next to me and one of my play lists permeating the interior of my car.  Lately my ears of been drawn to Weezer (Blue Album) as it reminds me of my youth and gets my blood flowing for the day.  Between the caffeine and Rivers Cuomo ringing in my ears I am set for my drive.  As I belt out the lyrics to "Say it Ain't So" I cruise with ease up and down and around the country side.

I love having those 20 or so minutes to myself.  I think about my day ahead and plan out how I would like to see it go.  However, the drive isn't always as smooth as baby's bottom.  The other day I was stuck behind Ms. 45MPH which isn't ever a good thing but REALLY isn't good when you hit snooze one too many times.  I have also learned that "teacher only" days are over and school buses are beginning to make their appearance on the highway.  With more practice I should be able to time my departure in order to avoid the flashing red lights. 

One thing I look forward to on my drive this year is getting to know the country side community.  The summer before my 1st year of college I took a math course at NIACC and would drive to Mason City 3 times a week in the morning.  The drive gave me knowledge of my route as well as of the people, places, and animals I met along the way.   I'm eager to start recognizing and waving to the cars that I meet just as I greeted the consistent cars on the Rudd blacktop back in the day.  I am excited to learn the feeding schedule of the cows and horses so I can see them make their way up the hill or out of the barn as a herd, just as I saw the sheep flock out into the field each morning on the farm outside of Nora Springs.  I am ready to know where the cops sit in hiding, waiting to meet their quota, just as I knew they liked to sit on the short cut road north of Rudd by that small cemetery.  I am also anxious to learn where the deer will be crossing and if the pheasants will continue to congregate by the 1st bridge after Kellogg, just like I became aware of the deer and pheasants (and baby pheasants-RIP) that would cross at the Rudd turn, even after I slaughtered one of the goslings!  All of these details are crucial to having a safe and enjoyable drive each day.

As I watch for these things, sip my caffeine, sway to my music, and take in the beauty of the sunrise; I also keep my St. Christopher medal attached to my visor to protect me and my travels, a belief that was embedded into me with my Catholic childhood.  I believe that each day I have someone looking out for me and others on the road as we make our way to our destinations. 


Anonymous said...

dis blog istda bomb

Ellen said...

thanks. what part makes it da bomb? I'm thinking Weezer....

Joe said...

It is the Weezer. I do not mind a reasonable commute to work either. Like you said it give you time to plan out the day. However, I have nice weather all year long will your opinion change with freezing temperature?