Nice People. New Attitudes.

Yesterday afternoon I left work around 1:00 to travel to Iowa for the computer training I’ve been looking forward to. I arrived here in Emmetsburg, Ia. this evening, after a total of 16.5 hours on the road.

Last night I drove as far as Madison, Ohio, where Earl is located when he’s “out of town” working. It was certainly wonderful to see him, as I’m sure you can imagine. After getting situated in his hotel room, he gave me a tour of his new plant (quite impressive). Then we headed to Great Lakes Mall, which is about 30 miles east of Cleveland, for supper. Of course I chose Chick-Fil-A. I had been looking forward to Chick-Fil-A since I basically gae up on vegetarianism, and it was a nice treat.

Last night was also special for us as it was the eight-year anniversary of our first date. I fell in love with him during that first day, and its nice to know that the feeling has only grown stronger as our relationship has progressed.

This morning it was up, up, up (to a car covered with snow!) nice and early so I could get on the road by 7:00 a.m. After a bagel, a glass of juice and a big kiss, I hit the road headed west. As soon as I was on the other side of Cleveland, the clouds parted, the temperature jumped 10 degrees and Mother Nature blessed my entire drive with sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s. All the way across northern Ohio and Indiana, central Illinois and up near the northwest corner of Iowa. I’ve never driven this far west, so it was a little bit exciting for me, especially crossing the Mississippi River. All the radio stations changed from “W..” to “K..”. ๐Ÿ™‚ The broadcaster in me appreciated that.

One thing I noticed, starting with last night, is that people are a heck of a lot friendlier than they are back home. Of course, I could be superimposing my feelings about the area on my perceptions of the people back home, but they all seem so cranky in comparison to everyone I’ve had the pleasure of crossing paths with last night and today. I’ve actually been smiled at, thanked and just generally made to feel good by the service people that I have dealt with, whether it be a gas station attendant, a toll booth collector or a high school kid behind a fast food counter. And I must say that it’s made by disposition brighter. Perhaps its the weather. Maybe back home is populated with nothing but degenerates. Who knows. All I know is that I feel sunny right now and I intend on taking my sunniness back home with me.

So now I’m situated in my motel room in Emmetsburg, Ia. The moblog will have to be put on hold until I leave, because there doesn’t seem to be any cell service for Cingular customers in northwest Iowa. Maybe things will change on the way home once I get into Minnesota, but when I got north of Waterloo, I lost my cell service and I haven’t found it since. The On*Star phone is working o.k., so at least I’m not completely out of touch with reality, and I have high speed internet here in the room too, which is nice.

And I must say that I feel like I am in the middle of nowhere. That statement isn’t really fair, because it is “somewhere” for “someone”, so I shouldn’t be judgmental by saying that this is “nowhere”. That would imply a snobbery on my part, which I don’t have. Actually, I really like it here. I feel like I stick out like a neon arrow over a casket at a funeral, especially with my shaved head, soul patch and little gay thing I always have going on, but I suppose I’ll get over it.

One lovely thing is that they have A&W! So you know what I had for supper. Afterwards I decided to drive through town to see what it was all about. I was ‘invited’ to drag race a high school kid at one of the two stop lights. Of course I did it and smoked him with our Impala LS. Gramps still has some kick in him after all. ๐Ÿ™‚