After about four miles and more than an hour, we made it to the next exit and discovered we had to take it, which was not part of our plan. We spent the next hour creeping along, until we finally came into a small town and were finally able to again get on the interstate! Our travels were only about twelve miles, total.
We learned later the detour was due to a multi-vehicle crash, causing the closure of all eastbound lanes! It took a full eight hours after the crash that happened mid-morning, to re-open the lanes. Needless to say, this completely altered our plans for the rest of the day!
Instead of rushing past this small town, we were forced to drive through. It was a cute town really, with pretty houses and manicured lawns with lots of flowers lining the streets. Some people were on porches watching the unusual amount of traffic pass by. Most however, were clearly staying out of the heat and probably avoiding all the intrusive cars and trucks invading their space.
There are a few small towns in central Iowa I used to love to drive through when we traveled out West. Then one year the state created a bypass so traffic no longer had to overrun their towns. While I understand, it leaves me a little disappointed since we miss the ambiance of these cute little settlements.
I have made the comment that I’d love to take a cross country trip without ever driving on an interstate! My husband, of course, thinks I’m totally nuts since the amount of time used to travel to the same place would be dramatically greater, and the speed limit would be considerably less than allowed on the interstate.
Doesn’t this, in many ways, mirror how we live our lives? We rush at breathtaking speed to get everything possibly finished in the fastest time possible, just to move to something else in breakneck hurry, to be able to move to something else? As we do this we are so exhausted at the end of the day, we can barely remember what we’ve done! We fall in bed and like the rest of our day, fall asleep quickly because we’re so tired; then wake in the morning and start all over again!
I wonder how often we need something dramatic in our lives to make us slow down and look at the wonder around us? When is the last time you sat in the floor and played with your little ones? When was the last time you and your best friend, spouse, or even your neighbor shared a cup of coffee and conversation without being in the slightest hurry? When was the last time you stopped to watch the sunrise or the sunset, or read a good book?
I challenge you to welcome a change of plan and slow down to enjoy the scenery in a small town, the smell of roses, lilacs and fresh cut grass or hay! Enjoy the time spent with a loved one and even a detour that takes you somewhere off the fast track.