Perhaps you are a commuter, which in Western Kentucky doesn’t mean the train or subway, but the basic staple of the highway—your car. It’s you and your car. So what do you do? If you drive a sporty car, there is the feel of the wondrous machine, its sound, the feel of shifting; and the sensation of the car, the curves, and you. A friend of mine, a senior citizen who owns a small business selling preowned cars, came across a convertible at auction, and he and his wife enjoy driving it themselves while it awaits a buyer.
For others, commuting is less sensational. I’ve long preferred silence to sound, and thus rarely touch the radio button. Even a dull highway can have the joy of simply enjoying the absence of sound. If you half way enjoy your own thoughts, a little solitude can be a relief. Another friend commented the other day about modern times that, “Too many people have to be entertained all of the time.”
This is not to disparage music, or talk radio, or other media. So much could be said about music that I won’t say anything. Others might choose to catch up on news, or listen to opinion shows, and those with tips on … well, things that aficionados give tips on.
Recently, a high school classmate loaned me an MP3 with stories by P.G. Wodehouse, 20th century British humorist whose stories feature a somewhat inept but lovable gentleman and his ingenious valet, Jeeves. The MP3 works in the car’s CD player, making the stories literary, culturally interesting, and highly entertaining these days.
Since To Kill a Mockingbird is on the docket at the college and in the community, I checked out prices for a used, audio edition. It’s affordable, but not exactly cheap, starting at just under $25, so I emailed Bonnie Matherly at our library for an interlibrary loan, but she was glad to say that our library has it. Two trips to Nashville with my wife have knocked out a third of it already, and I had forgotten how wonderful it is to be read to.
Last, a diversionary route to work in a rural area can bring the delight of pastures, animals, crops, implements, Amish, and other entities that city folks may have seen more often in books and magazines than by firsthand observation. If you head out for a two lane drive to work, try to avoid getting behind the garbage truck in a school zone. Other than that, you should be fine.
If you hardly have a commute, all of this probably makes you wish for a job in which you could have a commute. However, if it is a good job, hold on to it and take a few joy rides for pleasure. See you out on the road (if I’m watching it).