A RENEWED PERSPECTIVE ON ROUTE 66

I suppose it is just human nature to get so used to seeing something, even something as majestic as the desert southwest or as entrancing as the sites along Route 66, so often that you  no longer see it with clarity, with a sense of wonder. It is often in sharing them, in introducing them and then seeing the awe of child, or of a visitor, that the vision is restored and the focus sharpened.
I am blessed on both counts and as a result am awarded the privilege of seeing these wonders with renewed vision on a fairly regular basis. Last evening I had a double dose, my grandchildren as well as Dries and Marion Bessels of Holland, with a tour group of sixteen from that nation sharing dinner at Redneck’s in Kingman.
There was a true sense of renewal in listening to our foreign visitors recant the wonders of their odyssey across the heartland of America on Route 66, watching the puzzled smiles on their faces as they tried new and exotic foods like fried okra, and listening to them as they shared stories of life in Amsterdam. As a bonus, there was the wide eyed wonder of my granddaughter as she took great pride in ordering her dinner, and being the center of attention in a crowd of people that spoke a language she had never heard. It was an evening that proved the old adage of a smile being a universal message understood by all.
On Sunday, unless something happens between now and then, I will get my next dose of medicine to restore the eyesight and renew the mind. First, an afternoon shared with my son and his family, and then an evening with Dale Butel and his band of merry makers from Australia.
Then, come early October, I can introduce the wonders of Route 66 through the Ozarks, and Illinois, to my dearest friend. Our trips to visit family in Michigan over the years have always been by rail or air so this will be another opportunity for me to rediscover the treasures along this portion of America’s most famous highway by seeing it for the first time through her eyes.
And soon, very soon, I can renew my vision, my sense of wonder as I introduce the grandchildren to the magic of Route 66 and adventure on the road less traveled. Before that, however, I will be sharing these things and more with the next book, a Route 66 encyclopedia.