There is something to be said for the Amish or Mennonite lifestyle. Hard work under a desert sun. No power tools, no technology, just simple hand tools with handles polished smooth by years of use, solitude only broken by the sound of passing cars, sweat, and dirt. I find such endeavors to be rather therapeutic.
This is not to say that I lean toward the Luddite view of the world even though they were right on the money in some ways. Still, yesterday while clearing brush along the back fence line with a hoe, shovel, and mattock there was a sense of renewal.
With the job finished, and a bottle of cold hard cider in hand, I settled back on the porch and looked back over the years, and down the road toward the years to come. Framing the reflection was a mid afternoon visit from my brother in law and nephew, and pa’s 86th birthday on Monday. 
It is impossible to think of pa, or my little sister that passed away a couple of years ago and not reflect on decades of Route 66 memories. And as I look toward the future, those thoughts were also intertwined with the old double six.
Our first trip west occurred in 1959 and included lots of Route 66 in Arizona and New Mexico. We moved to Arizona in the summer of ’66 just before my sister turned three, and followed that highway from Illinois west.
I have chronicled the decades long Route 66 associations (hence Route 66 Chronicles) with numerous postings over the past few years. For recent subscribers suffice to say that most everything of importance in my life is tied to this old road.
As I look ahead, it appears as though that tradition will be continuing for the foreseeable future. For 2014, the travel plans include Cuba Fest in October, and, perhaps, Tucumcari in June.
Two new books will debut this year, both Route 66 titles. Then there is the Route 66 International Festival in August, an event that will require little driving this year.
Still, as exciting as the Route 66 adventures are, it is the opportunity for visiting with old friends that have us looking toward a new year with eager anticipation. In the meantime, there is a shed to clean, some brush to clear, a workbench to build, a bathroom to remodel, a Dodge to tune up, a…