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February 16, 1999

Life Off of the Farm
Well the snow that dots the background of this page now actually is a part of my daily experience.

Although there are still boxes to unpack and things to arrange the move to Indiana and starting over yet again is underway.

Gone are the morning greetings of dogs waiting to be patted and perhaps fed. There are no cats rubbing against my leg or presenting a chipmunk that they have just caught and laying it at my feet for my approval. The stirring of the pig, laboriously grunting across the pen and stopping at the gate in hope of receiving a morning treat is not there. All of that is behind me as some distant memory now and the wonder of the road map of life that leads us down so many roads that turn out to be dead ends.

Almost two years ago I started writing feverishly a novel about a middle-aged man looking for a shortcut to his sister's house who had just had a baby. The funny thing is that the story in some way biographical turned out to be prophetic in more ways than one, for at the time my sister wasn't even pregnant. That happened the next year and the actual journey happened this past Christmas when I having just turned 40 a month earlier set out on a journey that should have taken about 5 hours ended up taking over 12 hours as I sat in freezing rain on an interstate lusting after the back roads.

I have trekked the long roads that led to preparing for a career that I thought I would give my life to only to take an exit off of that highway after being in the career for seven years. I have jumped right on to another road to pursue a career at the time any career and fell into a disgruntled state where meaning suddenly fled from my daily existence. That led me to jumping on a super highway that seemed to take me away only in the end to dump me into a small southern town on a farm surrounded by farm animals. The story that I wrote almost a year and half ago was about a man who takes a shortcut and ends up stranded in a back road town and in the process finds himself.

Somewhere in the recesses of my intuition I knew that it was going to happen and it did. Except I'm not all that sure if I've found myself.

What I have found out is there are no shortcuts.

Someone here in my new job has told me, "If it is snowing stay on the main roads."

That strikes me as good advice for living life.

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