As I drove through the mountains of Arkansas looking at bright yellows, deep reds and variety of greens and browns, I felt a warmness coming over me beckoning back to my childhood riding in the back seat of my parents blue 1964 Chevy Malibu as we made our way through the mountains heading to who knows where.
The adventure of travel was something that we all enjoyed, trying to find something we had not seen, something that would be an experience we could share throughout our memories.
I don’t know what it was that made those trips through the hills and hollers in full color that drew me into a sense of security while yet being awed by the change of the seasons enveloping us.
As we drove I would watch the leaves whisk around in our wake as the car sped through the countryside, often as we would unexpectedly swoop over a hill I would feel my stomach jump like being on a roller coaster.
If we travelled into the night and the temperature began to drop, I was allowed to curl up in the floorboard near the heater vent and I would drift off to sleep until my father scooped me up in his arms and took me into our destination for a night’s rest. Today, I know that is something children will never experience and probably for safety reasons for the best.
We would roll through small town after small town sometimes stopping for a visit, sometimes not, but eventually our journey would take us to somewhere we had never been before.
In a way, I guess in the modern sense this was the pioneering blood deep within our spirits that inspired the need to see something new. Unlike a generation before when travel meant horses, wagons or even train trips, if you could afford it, we were blessed with affordable gasoline and the advantage and freedom of travel by automobile as far as the roads could take us.
Unlike our forbearers, we weren’t the first to see a thing unseen by previous frontiersman, but still there was a sense of the unknown especially for me as a child.
I guess that has never left me, even as I pour over faded photos of those trips, sights that are now just a memory, I still feel that exhilaration, I see the sights through the window of that Malibu.
Even today with the higher cost of gas and travel, I still feel an excitement when I slip behind the wheel and head off to some place I have never been before.
Although after years of travel as an entertainer, I have to travel much farther away to see those unknowns but I still seek the sights.
As you travel in the coming weeks, I hope you and your family and friends, find new sights, make new memories, and are blessed with the beauty of the season of Christmas and the celebration of Hanukkah.