'Almost heaven'...and some other places, too

'Almost heaven'...and some other places, too

Please read this...

Went for a walk last Sunday afternoon...

Saw a fellow traveler on The Journey Through Life. His pace was much faster than mine, in that he was jogging and I was...not...

Based on previous encounters...his jogging was in terms of miles...while my walking was in terms of...blocks...

Meanwhile...

John Denver came to mind over the weekend...

A fellow traveler on The Journey Through Life was talking about making plans for a journey to West Virginia. As you may know, Mr. Denver, may he rest in peace, had a popular song about the state that used to be a part of Virginia...at least until that little Civil War thing came along...

West Virginia, as you may know from the song, is “almost heaven.” We have been to West Virginia. We have not been to heaven. For that reason, I cannot accurately compare West Virginia and heaven. Perhaps, when the time comes, I will have a better idea. In which case, I will get back with you folks.

Back in the day, The Other Half and yours truly heard Mr. Denver sing his song about West Virginia when he performed in concert at the entertainment venue formerly known as the SIU Arena in Carbondale. As I recall, the concert was great. Almost heaven...

The person who was talking about the trip to West Virginia said the adventure was part of a plan to eventually visit all 50 of the states. 

That got me to thinking about the number of states yours truly has visited. Turns out it has been quite a few. 

This writer’s Journey Through Life began in Michigan and has included postings in Indiana, Connecticut (briefly), Massachusetts (even more briefly) and Illinois (twice...it’s a long story...perhaps some other time...).

Illinois is home. And, to tell you the truth, I am proud to say that. I often hear about folks who can’t wait to get out of Illinois. That’s OK. I’m glad to have had a place to stay put...to put down roots, so to speak...and The Other Half has literally put down roots in the Land of Lincoln...

Over the years...as in many of them...states where I have set foot have included...

Missouri...an easy one. It’s right next door, in a manner of speaking. Been across the Mississippi River many, many, many times. To St. Louis. Cape Girardeau. Imperial. Potosi. Eldon. Sullivan. Etc. Etc.

Kentucky...another easy one. Paducah (mostly passing through). Lexington (one of my most favorite places of all time). Hazard. Paris. Etc. Etc.

Massachusetts. In addition to living for a very short time in the Bay State, The Other Half and I traveled to Massachusetts many years ago. 

New Hampshire. During our visit to Massachusetts, we made a trip to a beach on the Atlantic Ocean in New Hampshire. The water was cold. Very, very, very cold. 

New Mexico. Visited New Mexico while I was in college. That was a long time ago. New Mexico might have been a territory at the time. Went to the top of a snow-covered mountain... in an open vehicle...a Jeep, I believe... 

Alabama...and Florida. Visited Florida long, long, long ago, as a kid. Mostly, I remember rain during that visit. Went to Florida again while spending some time in Gulf Shores, Alabama, during a trip not all that many years ago. Really enjoyed the National Naval Aviation Museum at Naval Air Station Pensacola. Well worth a visit. Gulf Shores was very nice, too. Especially enjoyed walking on the beach with my sweetheart. During our first of two visits to Gulf Shores, we happened to be walking along the beach when the Navy’s Blue Angels zoomed through the sky on their way to an appearance at the Super Bowl in Miami, Florida.

California. Near San Francisco. Especially enjoyed a trip we took to the “wine country.” And the Pacific Ocean, too. Oh...almost forgot...a late night stop at the airport in the Los Angeles, where I got to take a nap on the floor. 

North Carolina. Mixed memories. Long story. Perhaps another time.

Indiana. As noted earlier, lived there for a short time...just in time to experience the Palm Sunday tornadoes in 1965. Visited Indiana much, much later in life, with our daughter...to hunt for fossils...go figure...

Louisiana...New Orleans. Preservation Hall. Music. Food. Really, really good food.

Let’s see...there’s also...in no particular order...Arkansas...Texas...Oklahoma...Ohio...Georgia...Tennessee...South Carolina...Pennsylvania...Maryland...Mississippi...

...along with airports in Hawaii...Colorado...and Arizona...

As you can tell, there are still quite a few states left on the list. The Other Half has suggested that at some point soon, we pack our bags...and just kind of go...

...sounds good to me, but I’m not sure what Bob would think about it...

The Gazette-Democrat

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Anna, Illinois 62906
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