When Neal Maxwell was driving across the Nevada desert he pondered on the landscape around him and later he made a statement something like, "Don't be impatient with the flat periods in our lives, these are the times we should reflect on the hills and valleys we have lived through, and prepare for the new terrain coming up."
I have driven the Nevada desert many times, especially when I had a young family and after several trips, I too pondered and came to a strong conclusion, " Somebody should blow up everything from Wendover to Salt Lake City, just a giant...KABOOM...and we'd all be the better for it."
Needless to say - the differences between us are all too obvious. Yet now that I fly to Salt Lake City instead of drive, I admit I recall with fondness some of the adventures along the flat roads. When Roy and I were just married we'd have hour long talks that led us down unexpected and illuminating highways of thoughts.
Then with the young children, the hundreds of games of "In My Grandfathers Tool Shed, there was a....", and "The Minister's Cat is an....alligator cat", or the plethora of traveling songs, the worst being "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."
As a young child, staring out the window of the back seat and watching the shadows speed past, while the humming sounds of the tire and engine lulled me into a sort of halfway world, where I seemed to float somewhere above myself.
Some of my favorite times were the magical "Toby" stories that kept the children enthralled for another thirty miles. Roy sometimes took a turn story telling and they would invariably be about cowboys, and ranches, which we patiently endured, except for Pat, who would come from the back corner of the van for the first time of the trip and perch himself as close to his dad as possible. Once he was so engrossed in the story, that when Roy got to the part when the rancher nursed the cowhand back to health, young Pat cried out in horror, "He NURSED him!!!!"
Yeah, I guess there is a place for the flat, monotonous, boring stretches of our lives. They can sometimes turn out to be paths of wonder.