I didn’t realized how freaked out I was by the looming road trip through four Midwestern states, alone and by car for a week. The Sunday morning after my panel appearance at Printers Row Lit Fest the day before, in my hotel in Chicago’s loop, I found myself unable to pack. Only in retrospect did I realize that my symptoms pointed to the closest I’ve come to a panic attack. I didn’t feel well, was I tired, hung over—of course not! I couldn’t concentrate and wandered about my room as long as I could postpone getting a car and driving all the way to Des Moines, Iowa. Understand, I’ve traveled a lot for business but it had been years.
Once out of the maze of highways around Chicago and on straight-shot Interstate 80, I began to relax even though my rented GPS failed me three times that day and had to be replaced in Des Moines. I won’t even mention the oil warning light that popped on with a loud bing. I was reminded of the vastness of these United States, the richness of the farmlands of the middle, the quiet, the green rolling hills, the picture perfect farms with red barns and silos, my favorite black and white cows dotting endless fields. It was glorious! And somehow humbling. How could I have forgotten these, my roots?
Next post will continue the trip. Hope you’ll join me, this the second time around. I’d enjoy the company!