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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



I have always loved driving. Well, maybe not so much at 4 a.m. on the way back from Ontario when I've been stuck in the car for the last 14 hours with 8 more to go, but, from the first time I crawled behind the wheel of the old B Farmall on the farm, I've loved to drive.

The first car I ever owned, a silver 1974 Chevy Caprice Classic, was aptly named "Weezride"? from all who rode in her. She'd go anywhere on $3 of gas and could hold the better part of a small symphony orchestra inside. It was in that first car that I got the itch for the open road, for the paths not yet traveled by me, to see if there was indeed life outside of Dexter and if the grass was indeed greener.

Anyone who has ridden along with me knows that I tend to poke along like an eighty year-old farmer looking at the crops, unless I'm on my way to a fire call. And lately I've been taking drives on my lunch hour at work. I know the price of gas is outrageous, and my truck doesn't quite get the same mileage as a Yugo, but there is something about the peaceful tranquility of those drives that means so much to me.

For me, the best drives are the ones on the roads less traveled. Find me a good gravel road with lots of hills and curves in an out of the way place and I'll spend an hour or two at peace just looking at the beauty that surrounds me. It never seems to fail though, as I make these small journeys that I tend to pick roads by simply coming to a crossroad and asking out loud, "Left, right or straight"? and waiting for an answer to come to me. This lately has lead me down a number of dead ends.

There is something about a dead end road that is exciting would you agree? How long is the road? Where did it once lead too? What is at the end of it? Sometimes there are answers to these questions. Perhaps you can see beyond the trees and brush to a long forgotten stretch of road now silently resting amongst the bluestem and lavender of a pasture. Or maybe there is nothing there at all, a road that was never finished.

There are times when I like to stop the car and get out. Standing in the shade of the canopy of leaves that stand over the road, to listen to the sounds of that spot. What is it you hear? Maybe just the birds, but other times, the whispering sounds of long ago, of the laughter of children on their way to school from the farm that once sat there, long since returned to the land, or perhaps even at times the sound of a voice inside you calling you forward, to the future, to make the road longer than what it seems.

Sometimes I believe we all are faced with dead ends in life. What do you do when you reach one? Do you get out, scratching your head because you aren't on the road you expected to be on? Or do you simply turn around and go home? Perhaps just once you should stop yourself, and think that what seems to be a dead end isn't really a dead end at all, but the point where you haven't journeyed yet. The starting point to a portion of your life yet lived, the chance to dream, move forward and live the unknown. Because if we are honest with ourselves, life is constantly about crossing the fence or tearing it down at those dead ends we come to in the road of life, and moving forward to find what we are searching for.

The only other alternative is to turn around and go home. But unless you strike out and take those chances, you'll always wonder what is beyond the fence, and you always know that no matter how far out your new road goes, you can always go home at the end of the day.

See you next week..Remember, we're all in this together.