“There is a race of men that don’t fit in, A race that can’t stay still …” So opens the poem, The Men That Don’t Fit In, by Robert Service.
For at least thirty five years this poem has echoed in my mind as I made countless attempts to fit in, to carve a societal niche. Most attempts have been hollow at best as wanderlust and insatiable curiosity keep me from wandering the path chosen by most.
The house needs paint but an opportunity arises for a trip to Virginia so the trim fades and we stroll the streets of historic Williamsburg. It would be relatively easy to pursue ministry opportunities closer to home in comfortable churches but instead find peace and satisfaction serving in churches where the heater is broken, the cracked windws are covered with carboard, and the collection plate is used to gather change rather than dollars.
Over the years I have been blessed with incredible employment opportunities but chafe under the harness as a wild mustang would if serving as a draft horse. In years past there have been opportunities to make contributions in wide ranging fields from politics to finance but instead find satisfaction in jobs where I can work face to face in meeting needs.
So, it is rather appropriate that we inherited Barney the wonder truck, a homely old work horse that carries the succinct summary of my life in chrome script on the rear of the box, Adventurer. Moreover, like this old truck, I seem to be at my best in settings and landscapes often avoided by others.
This old truck presents the illusion of subdued civility with its automatic transmission, power steering, and chrome trim. However, at its heart it is an unpretensious, no nonsense truck little changed from its Spartan cousins built in the 1940s or 1950s.

Expanding on that theme was the recent acquisition of the Jeep Cherokee, a vehicle that seems to symbolize my life as I begin the second half of a century here on planet earth. I am a bit more civilized, find a bit more pleasure with creature comforts such as air conditioning, but still find the greatest satisfaction in seeking the road less traveled, the quiet places where you can press in to God surrounded by His finest handiwork, the forgotten places, the places where there is no need for pretense or the clutter of life in the modern era.
Fortunately I have been blessed with a partner, my dearest friend, that loves these things as well. She also provides the needed balance that keeps my wanderlust, my urge to see, to explore from becoming self destructive.
It is my dearest friend that gently led me to channel my adventurers spirit into writing, to share my love for the lonely and empty places with others. This is another example of how richly blessed I am.

With these thoughts in mind I begin a new week and a full schedule. There is work on the website (www.route66infocenter.com), the next book, Ghost Towns of Route 66, another installment of The Independent Thinker for Cars & Parts magazine, and, of course, the office, the job that keeps beans on the table and gas in the tank.
Meanwhile the struggle will continue as I force the mind to focus on the task at hand rather than dream of a trip on old Route 66, into the Black Mountains, to Bisbee, Alaska, Australia, or the myriad of other places I would rather be.

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