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WNIJ Perspectives

Perspective: Pandemic Roadtripping

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Paula Garrett
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A few weeks ago I packed up Bluella, my VW Golf, and headed to my sister’s in Alpharetta, Georgia. Once I’d left Chicago behind, I settled into that “on the road” groove where the mind can wander with fewer distractions than in our day-to-day comings and goings, or even in other forms of travel.

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Coming around a curve, I’d see how the light was filtering through a dense set of trees. Glancing over, I’d see a church sheltered by a hillside. Not sure why these images resonate, but somehow they trigger a flash of memory of who knows what or where — another trip, a dream, another lifetime? I don’t chase after why. My mind needs a vacation and on the open road it can roam freely.

 

I'm pulled back into the present when I start to see more and more Trump billboards and bumper stickers, along with gross Confederate flags. And, there’s the pandemic - the main reason I opted to drive. Protective armor assembled for my stops - I mask up, of course, add a face shield, and have at the ready - alcohol wipes, sanitizer, and a roll of tp. I'm happy to report that most of my fellow travelers were wearing masks.

 

While in my Bluella bubble, I feel relatively carefree and have the perfect soundtrack, Ry Cooder’s My Name is Buddy. Nothing like a little subversive country twang to keep me company.

      

I’m Paula Garrett and that’s my view from the road.

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