Coming Down from Alaska

I’m a real sap when it comes to that Kris Kristofferson song, “Sunday Morning Coming Down.” The chorus goes:

On the Sunday morning sidewalk
Wishing, Lord, that I was stoned.
‘Cause there's something in a Sunday
Makes a body feel alone.
There ain't nothing short of dying
Half as lonesome as the sound
On the sleeping city sidewalks
Sunday morning coming down.

Okay, so I’ve never walked the city sidewalks wishing I were stoned, but that song does define “wistfulness” to me.

What am I coming down from? A summer of rough roads, dismal weather, yeah, but also other-worldly views, close encounters with giant beasts. A summer of exclaiming, “Jesus Christ!” every time I stepped outside. (Sorry, that’s what came out of my mouth.)

After my full immersion in that world of superlatives, I’m feeling like I might as well be on a city sidewalk kicking a can with Kris Kristofferson or, heck, why not Johnny Cash.

Nothing New to See Here

Don’t get me wrong, we are truly enjoying our swing through Iowa and Wisconsin, catching up with friends and relatives as we catch up with repairs and supplies.

We’ve been through our favorite small Iowa towns and through Madison, Wisconsin, three times now, maybe four? I love revisiting places, walking the same routes, seeing familiar faces, and, oh my goodness, spending time with beloved friends. But, familiarity isn’t good fodder for a travel blog, is it.

Is This a Travel Blog?

I just had the interesting experience of talking with a reporter from my high school alumni magazine about this topic. I expected him to ask me the usual questions about my favorite national parks, but he was interested in my quest for inner understanding. How he had deduced that theme from a quick glance at this blog I have no idea. Maybe that’s clear to everyone but me.

This young guy prodded me for details of any spiritual or intensely personal awakening I’ve had thanks to my journey, and I had to answer, “That’s a work in progress.”

I have no idea what his article will be like; if it’s not wholly embarrassing, I’ll post a link here.

Meanwhile, I’m delighting in daily lunches with my long-time friend, Doug Reed. It’s a very strange and wonderful coincidence that:

1) I have lunch with Doug—from high school—the same day that

2) I talk with a reporter—from the alumni magazine,

3) on the anniversary of my favorite-ever French vacation with Doug and another friend from high school—the very friend who connected that reporter with me.

In the very top pic, Doug and I are in Madison waving to Mary Margaret in France because we think so fondly of her and she’s so dang far away.

See? I’ve got your travel and familiarity and wistful feelings galore here. Move over, Kristofferson.

6 thoughts to “Coming Down from Alaska”

    1. I knew this would be a controversial topic. 🙂 Friends in a band once learned it as a surprise for me; that one doesn’t define but it sure is special. Cash is good, too. 🙂