Spaces Between

Since I last wrote, I've been in the following states: Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. These states have all been lovely and interesting in their own ways...but, I haven't been as invested in seeing them as I have other places. It's not the states. It's me.

In Ann Arbor, I had lunch with my cousin and his wife. Ann Arbor was really so nice and

the weather (while I was there) was spectacular: warm but not too hot or sweaty. I loved it. Seeing my cousin was also a real treat. We don't see each other as much as we used to and it's always nice to get to catch up in person. When I left Ann Arbor, I drove to Dayton, Ohio. Ohio is a place I've been many times. It borders WV, so it never feels far away to me. For a few years in a row, I traveled with friends to Bowling Green, OH for a writing conference at the university there. It was always in the autumn and Bowling Green is practically Michigan so it is very, very flat there. So much flatter than WV. It was always a fun time and I loved going for those weekends.

From Dayton, I made my way to Indianapolis. Indiana is, for whatever reason, a state I've never visited. I guess I don't have family or any friends there and it never made my list before now. Indianapolis was one of the only mid-size cities I've visited that didn't seem to be a complete construction zone. One of my most notable observations about mid-size and larger cities in the US right now is that they are GROWING. Big time. Constant construction and new luxury apartment and condo complexes going in everywhere. Everywhere. Indianapolis had a nice, steady feel, though. I visited the Indianapolis Salt Cave for a hand and foot treatment that was incredibly soothing. After, I had a very hip lunch at Milktooth. It was a nice day.

Leaving Indy, I drove to Louisville. Kentucky is another place I've traveled for writing weekends and loved. Excepting this past year, I usually go to Hindman, KY for a writer's retreat at least once a year. It is a special place that always inspires me and I think Kentucky is wonderful. It's so much like my home and, yet, a whole different kind of place. Louisville, especially, is so bustling and fun and yet still very warm and friendly. I met a lady in the parking lot of the bank who asked for a tour of my van. She told me about her grandkids and her ex-husband and we probably talked for a total of 10 minutes. Now, you don't get that kind of "never met a stranger" anywhere but in Appalachia. I love it.

Nothing terribly exciting has happened the last few days. I've been relaxing and reading. I did some swimming in the kooky pool at the Indy KOA where I camped. Mostly, I've been enjoying a little down time and a chance to reflect not only on where I've been but where I'm going next. So many of my friends are in transition right now for a variety of reasons: births, deaths, moves, job changes, marriages, etc. I think I'm finally excited about getting back to real life. I'm not finished with my travels, yet, but I am beginning to consider what's next. I'm ready for a transition, too.

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