Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Lonely Road...by Jim Terry

How many of you have ever been on a road where you don’t see anyone and I mean anyone for miles?  I recently had that experience while on a road trip to Ely, Nevada for a funeral.  

As those of you know that have been following “In A Nutshell”, my last living grandparent passed on April 1st.  Being nearly 100 years old, I can only imagine how awesome it must be for my grandmother to be free from pain, free from disease and free from a body that was holding her back in doing what she wanted to do physically.  As I was driving on this highway that is named, “The Loneliest Highway in America” to reach my destination, I had time to notice and realize how beautiful this stretch of lonely road really is.  I also had time to reflect and thought of how many "lonely roads" does someone who is almost 100--my grandmother-- have to endure in a lifetime?

Thinking back on history over the past 100 years, it really is overwhelming at times to know EVERYTHING that has transpired in those years that someone may have had to endure or enjoy during that time…

- I remember hearing stories about people--my grandfather--selling horse and animal pelts during the Great Depression for $5 a piece to help with the cost of food so families wouldn’t starve. 

- We all know both World Wars, the Vietnam War and several military operations occurred during that time.

- A man walked on the moon and least we forget the repeated shuttle launches.

- Modern comforts, due to technological advance, have become better and better…ie…radio, telephone, microwaves, car design etc.   

- President John F. Kennedy assassination with several FAILED Presidential assassination attempts

- The Beatles and Elvis take America by storm

- Pac Man, Centipede, Space invaders and the real start of the gaming industry begin.

- Hula-hoops, chia pets, slinky, Rubik’s cube, Barbie, Play-Doh, Yahtzee and the list goes on of fun toys created during that time.

-Cell phones and internet

- Wages that were once an average of less than $5 a day or $1,825 year to an average, according to the Social Security Administration, of over $44,000 a year.

I guess my point is…I’m sure that there are A LOT of lonely roads in all of our lives over the years but I guess it depends on where you want to focus your thoughts and actions. Do you want to dwell on the wars, the poor wages or the assassinations? Or do you focus on the excitement of hearing that a man walked on the moon? The joy you experienced the first time you were able to figure out and get the Rubik’s cube back to its original state?  Or is your focus on the first time you heard The Beatles or Elvis on the radio or, better yet, on your iPod or iPhone?  

As I bid farewell to my family after the funeral and saw them drive north to Idaho and I west back to California on this lonely road by myself, I couldn’t help but to think how thankful I am for my family, my health, my friends and for my life. Yes, I have had hard times in my life as all of us do, but it all depends on where you focus your attention during those times that makes them just a little bit easier. 

So next time while "driving" along and experiencing those moments in life, remember to take time to focus. You might just find some beauty in it and it may just help you get through those tough spots and reach your destination with a little bit more spring in your step and that twinkle in your eye knowing that you conquered the “lonely road!”