We're traveling this week from our home in Manhattan, KS to the Carolinas. Yes, both of them. We'll visit one of my brothers for a couple of days near Raleigh, NC, then move on to Bluffton, SC to attend a wedding.
We left home at 8 this morning and drove through Missouri most of the day. The views in the Mark Twain National Forest were lovely. Curving, roller coaster roads in some areas with spectacular views.
I'd like to tell you that the brilliant colors above were what we saw today, but that would be a big, fat lie! Instead, we saw faded colors and some trees already bare. We are probably a week or two late for the best colors.
If you're a regular reader of this blog, you know that I like to look for story ideas wherever I go. Today, one of the best came at our lunch break. We usually do fast food when on the road, mostly for the sake of time. So, today. we pulled into a Wendy's in a small Missouri town. The parking lot was almost completely full. When we walked inside, I did a double take. Had the senior living place nearby sent all their residents to Wendy's today? About 90% of the people eating and ordering at the counter were seniors. Some were very senior! As we were eating, I heard the woman taking orders say "What will you have today, Grandma?" and then "How about you, Grandpa?" It seems they actually were this middle-aged woman's grandparents.
As I nibbled at my burger, I started thinking about what a great story could come of this. Consider a senior living place or even a nursing home down the road who took all their residents out for lunch one day to the local Wendy's. An argument could start and the old folks taking sides, two old guys with fists doubled up, going at it. Each side cheering for its own fighter. Would have to think of some reason they were fighting.
Actually, the people we saw today were all having a good time. Lots of chatter and laughter. Who said old people are bitter and sour? Think of the combined experiences of these people?
As we left, I was smiling. Just thinking of the stories that might be gleaned from visiting with the people at each table made me wish I'd had time to do exactly that.
Yes, there are stories everywhere you go. Like tonight at the Ruby Tuesday's where we had dinner. A table of four interesting looking older men caught my attention. They finished their dinner and then ordered more beer. Animated conversation, laughter, and back of hands wiping the foam from their lips. Definitely a story there.
we stayed in Sikeston last night, which is the home of Lambert's Cafe, famed for 'throwed rolls.' Yes, they really do throw the rolls at you. I think we'll eat at the hotel this morning. I'm not one for 'catching' my breakfast. We're moving on Tuesday to Newport, TN, just west of Asheville, NC.