Sunday, August 07, 2005

I Found My Soulmate...

Too bad it's a guy. hehehhehe

The story totally reminds me of a time not too long ago when I spent four weeks one summer out in Augusta, Georgia (home of the St. Augusta golf course, where the Master's are played -- I've always found that term interesting..."Master's Championship" smack dab in the middle of slavery land). I was out there doing a beta test evaluation of the software that I wrote for an Army medical unit out of Eisenhower Medical Center. The weekdays were rather mundane, rolling into the ER in my dark grey Ford Countour rental, interviewing the nursing staff, noting their difficulties interacting with those old Fujitsu Stylistic 1000 tablet PCs (wow, check out this web page about it -- can you say old?). It's too bad our product was a bit too ahead of its time, there were so many uphill battles trying to revolutionize the patient charting process; pencil & paper were so deeply entrenched. I'm glad to see that as the medical staff begins to come from the techno generation, such tools are much more palatable -- they were freakin' double-charting for goodness sake! And 90% of the time, you couldn't even read a chart. Oh well...I digress...

So anyways, Augusta was a dead-end southern town that went to sleep at 8PM each night. It was my first time away from home with a real job, so I got antsy on weekends. One day just decided to "go somewhere". Anywhere. So took out the trusty atlas, pointed the car that way, and eleven hours later found myself greeted by the spectacular scene of white national monuments glowing amidst the backdrop of a Washington D.C. night. Checked out the Smithsonian, Lincoln Memorial, Reflection Pool, etc. My favorite is still Jefferson Memorial at night. Quite beautiful. It was a simple plan, really...point the car in one direction after work on Friday afternoon, making sure to hit those roads marked with the dots (AAA identified scenic highway) and then turn around when you hit late Saturday afternoon.

There's something to be said about being 2000 miles away from home/friends/family/support, piloting your chariot in total control: "Tobacco Road? That sounds interesting...let's go!" "Ooooh, I wonder what's down there?" "I feel like going to Tenessee today." So the next few weekends found myself in Miami, Florida (unbelievably, incredulously, sticky hot sweaty sauna steambath dirty city in September) and the Blue Ridge Mountains in Tenessee/Kentucky (I wish I was able to stay just a couple of weeks later to see all of the hillsides light on fire with the golden turning of the leaves. I saw a few that had started but I was left with only my mind to paint the image of golden brown trees as far as the eyes can see.

A few times I kinda spooked myself, especially driving through rural Georgia in the middle of the night on some sideroads -- thoughts of the hooded members of the Klan ran rampant throughout my mind; imagine breaking down out there? There were no lights nor cars out there, just the occassional mailbox marking a home. And then there was that day rolling into Macon where I swear it was straight out of some Tom Sawyer movie. White picket fences (and I mean real white picket fences) guarding homes with the swing and chairs on the front porch...I remember picturing the streets with the coloreds walking on that side and the whites on this side. It's only been about 40 years since segregation was a way of life.

So after returning from the Augusta trip, I pledged to make it out to all these places that I've been wanting to go to -- Lassen, Mt. Shasta, SF to Seattle via 101/1, Yellowstone, Hwy 50, Monument Valley, Kodachrome Basin, Arches, Denver...It's now 8 years later, and mission not accomplished. "Best laid plans" indeed.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]


Post a Comment

<< Home