I’m getting ready to leave Lexington, Kentucky, after a day unexpectedly spent in a new city with an old friend, Deb Alexander. This random stay came about when Ricardo, a truck driver headed from Ohio to Miami, picked me up on Interstate 71. I thought I would be getting out in Columbus to continue west to Indianapolis, but when he mentioned Lexington, I texted Deb. She was free, we met at the side of the road, and once again this road leads to a friend’s home. Feeling grateful.
Deb is putting down roots in Lexington, her home town, spending time with family and figuring out what comes next in a life that has led her to Bosnia, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and more countries than I can recall. We have a lot of friends in common, but got to know one another for real in 2014 when I wrote this story about her work with the State Department.
An even stranger coincidence – last night I got a call from Pat Coy, my good friend and host in Ohio Pat was checking up on me, and it turns out that he and Deb were in the same program at Syracuse University and know one another’s work well. Pat and his wife Karin live in an amazing spot on the edge of the Cuyahoga National Park, and they have created a native prairie on their property. Birds and hitchhikers alike flock their to enjoy the peace and quiet.
I looked back at my journal of our cross country hitch from 1978, and the road was pretty much the same back then. It took days to get out of New York State, partly because the rides were short but mostly because we had friends and family to stop and see. Back then it was kids we knew from college – now it’s a lifetime of friends (and Facebook friends) who seem to be everywhere on the map.
The forecast for today – breakfast in horse country and then out to the road – maybe a ride to St. Louis?