I haven't been off the mountain in about 3-1/2 years, so today was a bit of almost culture shock. I had not planned a trip, but the power adapter for my laptop bit the dust. My choices were either drive 140 miles down to the Winston-Salem / Greensboro (NC) area to the nearest Apple store, or wait a week for an internet purchase and hope that the problem really was the adapter. (It was.)
The first thing I noticed (once I got off the highway) was how few signs of poor economy I saw, compared to my little corner of the world. People were evident in large numbers in all the shopping centers and the Apple store had a gazillion customers. iPods seem to be the thing to have these days.
Then there were the interstates. Whew. When I last went through that area, there was only I-40, crossing the N/S interstate highway I-77 which runs from West Virginia and down to Charlotte... probably farther but I don't know that area. Now there are 3 additional interstates, including a new I-40 which basically parallels the old one; the old one is now Business I-40. Who ever heard of an Interstate being a business route.
The amazing thing was watching where my mind wandered during the 7 hour trip in my old truck that has no radio. I sang songs I had forgotten I knew, mostly old spirituals and gospel music I heard traveling all over the south when I was growing up. I probably sang more of those mainly because I could remember most of the words! (And because I was by myself... I really can't carry a tune.)
Here's a favorite although I could not find a freebie one in the cadence I remember best.
Then there were bits and pieces of poems I remember, like the Ballad of Sam McGee (...strange things done in the midnight sun...), and a long-time favorite, Jenny Kissed Me. It's by Leigh Hunt.
Jenny kiss'd me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kiss'd me.