We enjoy taking the back roads when we can–and when Garmin inexplicably sends us there. It’s on the smaller roads that you wind through pretty farmland, small towns and unusual sights while traveling the Casita recommended 50-60 mph. It is nice not to have to watch the fast lane pass you by. But, I digress.
It’s by taking the back roads that one will see the funny passage of time or even a sort of stoppage of time. On our last trip, we happened upon Milton, Illinois where they point you in the direction of time that is a little round iron bank safe (that was used by the farmers in the time of Jesse James) and a gazebo built by just one man in the 1880’s.
If you need gas, you have one choice–a self serve farmer’s cooperative with pumps from something like the seventies and a stand alone credit card reader that is so seldomly used by outsiders that the instructions are worn away without a care.
The Gazebo is just such a lovely example of a bygone era when the band would play up top and the townspeople rest around the bottom. In today’s television age, everyone wants to conform to a standard. My own town put up a run of the mill gazebo and a standard issue waterfall. Milton shows us that creating something unique will last. It will set a town apart from the rest and cause a visitor to stop a minute and muse on the days when unique and handmade were cherished.
There is zen in everything: Taking a back road, Using an old gas pump, Designing and building a lasting and beautiful town landmark, Saving an old safe and Gathering up a lunch or picnic dinner to sit under a tall gazebo–in a town whose name will soon fade.
Stop a while dear travelers. Look in the direction of the sign that points to “Time.” Ask yourselves if you are building something that encourages your own creativity and that will show a future traveler a little something about your unique life.
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