Rest Stop Ryann Ford
"Literally, before our eyes, rest stops are vanishing from the landscapes of America. All over the country, rest areas are losing the fight to commercial alternatives: drive-thrus at every exit and mega-sized travel centers offering car washes, wi-fi, grilled paninis and bladder-busting sized fountain drinks. They’re on the chopping block for many states, their upkeep giving way with tight highway budgets. Louisiana has closed 24 of its 34 stops, Virginia, 18 of its 42; pretty much every state in the country has reduced its number of rest areas, or at least cut operating hours. And they’re not just being closed, they’re being demolished. "They’re just toilets and tables" you might say. But if you take a closer look, you will see that they are much more. For the past 53 years, rest stops have given us rest, relief, hospitality and nostalgia. They have been an oasis of green to walk your dog, have a picnic, study the map. For some, what was seen and read at rest stops could be all that was known of a region’s historical, archeological, geological, or cultural significance. Many people these days only know of rest stops as a blur from the car window. Many don’t know the historical significance of these quirky little roadside relics."
It seems more and more we are losing those opportunities for peace, with the rush in everyday, to even capture a moment to allow us to slow down. While all of this is amazing, opportunities we did not have a short while ago… how can we ever have a moment to take life in and reflect?
I may be getting sidetracked. I just remember how cathartic driving across country was. Being able to stop and look out at the landscape, breath the air. It was all part of disconnecting from the rush. Having a moment to take in the day and only take with me what I needed, nothing more.
I suppose I grew up at the wrong time…Receiving letters in the mail is more exciting instead of an email. I love the sound of the imperfections that come when listening to a record player. The time it takes to change a record, it’s the experience as a whole. As the time and personal touch given when writing a letter.
The connections we have with those close to us might be close in a different way without the distraction in between. What would we do instead? What would we say? Or see in a new light?