Easily Amused

I have a lot of great LYS customers in Michigan.  So I make the trip across northern Ohio about every 6 weeks or so.  At first, I thought this would be quite boring–but it’s not!  At least, not when you make your own landmarks, so that you are happy to see them (or they tell you how far you have come, and how much longer it will be until you get where you’re going,) and not, when you are, like me, Easily Amused.

I don’t usually start wondering “are we there yet?” until I am out of PA.  I don’t listen to the radio or audio books when I travel (as Steven can attest, I not only do not have a fancy iPod dock in the ’01 Kia Sportage, I don’t even have a CD player.  I used to listen to Pandora on my smartphone, but I dropped my data plan so now that’s out.)   I usually enjoy being alone with my thoughts and seeing what there is to see.

Pretty sure they make the Chevy Cruze here.

This is my first marker on I-80 Westbound, about 1.5 hours from my garage.  The Lordstown Chevrolet plant.  It is pretty big, although not the biggest auto facility I’ve seen, since I do get to Greater Detroit often.  I think it is a mile or so long, though.  I feel like I have seen more activity there over the last 2 years.  More new Muscle Cars in the parking lot.  Good barometer for the economy?

About 5 minutes later, there is a very interesting, small, run-down house.  I call it The Boogie Man House (although I believe the correct spelling would be Bogey Man, if we’re talking about the creepy monster/guy who may or may not be in your closet, waiting to “get” you.)  I don’t think anyone does live there.  I could not stop to get a picture of it, because I forgot it comes up so quickly after the car plant and it was not safe to stop with the traffic.  Maybe next time.

The house that really intrigues me, and was my first established landmark for this trip, is this one.

 The Brown House by the Little Pond.  I have seen it in every season, and it always is cute.  I have seen a big yellow dog there, and wondered if he ever swims in the pond.  I have never seen anyone using those little boats, so if this is your house, I think you should enjoy your pond more!  The only downside is that it is so close to the highway, but I guess if I lived here I would sit on the edge of the deck and put my feet in the water some mornings while I drink my tea.

Here’s where things start to get a little lean in the interesting landmark department.  It’s still a little while until I get to the junction for 77 and then 71, when I know I’m in the middle of Ohio.  Here’s a golf course.

Not too thrilling, but something to notice.  I guess it’s nice.  I don’t golf.  My dad does, and he recently got his first hole-in-one.  Here’s the poem/email he wrote about it:

Effective today there is a second reason to fly the flag on flag day…

 June 14, 2011, Toddy Brook Golf Course, N. Yarmouth, ME.
It’s a cool, drizzly day, a bit foggy.
After a grueling 10th hole,
It’s approximately 145 yards to the pin from the tee; 
The ball is off the tee, a reaction to a trusty 9-wood;
The ball is in flight, a beautiful arc;
The ball soars over the no-mans gulch;
The ball hits the green about ten feet in front of the pin;
The ball disappears after the first bounce. 
Where is it?
Did it bounce over the green into the trap? 
It’s the first of my long career…a great feeling. 
I thought that was really cute, and was so happy for how happy he was.  I wonder what an equivalent achievement would be for me in my life.  Spinning my first really gorgeous, intentional yarn?  Still working on that one.
Gratuitous Yarn Shot.  This is a cute 2-ply merino from some Yarn Hollow roving from last year.  I think the colorway is called Olive You.  I really should knit something with it, and I think I will when I get home.  I bought it at Beth’s shop in Howell, MI.  She told me a long time ago that I should rep for Rita at Yarn Hollow, and now I do!  It is great, because I have always loved her stuff, and now I can introduce it to other knitters and spinners, through my best LYS customers.  Beth is the boss of me in many ways.  She has not been wrong on any of her recommendations yet.  Here’s another one.
Now, where was I?  Oh yeah, Ohio.  Here is a rest stop.  I usually do have to make at least one stop on the way to Michigan.  For gas or food or a rest, you know.  The Service Areas are fine, and I have my favorite because of the name–Blue Heron.  I almost always see a Blue Heron when I drive across Ohio in the warmer months, and I love to see them flying over the highway or standing in some water in my sight range as I drive.  I get a sense that someone is watching over me.
What you see here is a gigantic truck.  What you are supposed to see is Bittcher Industries.  Funny how the camera on my tablet stops everything.  Remember how in the old days if you took a picture of something moving it was blurry?  It’s really an amazing world, isn’t it?  Anyway, Bittcher Industries is in a big red barn-looking building and they do something with food processing equipment.  I feel like knowing too much about what exactly they or their customers do to food might bum me out, so I have never even looked up their website.  Some things it’s better not to allow into my consciuosness.  I do give the building a wave as I go by, and wonder if it is a nice place to work.
Then there’s this place.  Again, the title of the post is Easily Amused.  I call this the Giant Tire.  It does not look so giant here.  Some people have Route 66, with Ghost Towns and canyons, some people have the Silk Road.  I have I-80 in the Industrial Midwest.  Looking for the Bright Side, the sky does look cool in this photo.
I do enjoy a good road name, and here is my favorite.
I laugh and say Pickel Street (yes, out loud, to myself) every time I pass the sign, like a little kid.  I like pickles as much as the next guy, and it also means I am about 1.5 hours away from Greater Detroit, or 3.5 hours from home, if I’m headed east.
Then I go through the Toledo area and head up 75.  Here is the Pure Michigan Sign.
Not the greatest picture.  I may or may not have been moving when I took it.  I have grown to love the natural beauty of the state, and the people are really nice and fun, although they drive way too fast.  Usually that is my big indicator that I’ve reached Michigan, if I forget to notice the sign.
Then there is my favorite, favorite landmark, maybe ever.  This sign just cracks me up.  First, it is for Beef Jerky Unlimited.  Is there really no limit to beef jerky?  I should be a better blogger and stop at some of these joints and see what they are all about.  I’m sure I would be quite amused by this place.  And the subtitle of their billboard (which is ALWAYS up, by the way.  I wonder how much they pay for it.  They must be doing pretty well,) is “We are NOT a gas station.”  It makes me want to go there and ask someone, “Is this a gas station?”
Anyway, that’s it.  The moral of the story for me is that there are things to appreciate all around you, if you will only look for them.  I always wonder when I am on a trip, “What am I meant to see on the way to where I am going?  Who will I meet and connect with?  What will I learn about the world or about myself?”  Does anyone else have these sorts of nondescript yet friendly and familiar “landmarks” of their own for a drive you do often?

3 thoughts on “Easily Amused

  1. Congrats on your wordpress post! I do this same thing from Bloomington Indiana to Stillwater Oklahoma. No distractions in the car person as well, nice shots for a tablet!

    • Wow! That must be quite a drive! What are some of the “interesting” things you see? It’s funny, I always have people recommending audiobooks and even giving me music cds, but I have no way to listen to them. Maybe my next car will be more up to date. But then it’s more stuff to bring with you, which is an issue with a car full of yarn. Also, I never want my car to stop working. It has 159K miles on it and starts up every day–knock on something! 🙂

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