Joy me up, buttercup

One of the great serendipities on the road is when you come across people larking about.

Right now I’m in a highly rated — by truckers and locals — roadside café in the California desert. They call it the valley here. I can see the mountains rising up to one side, the ones I’ll be traversing in an hour’s time to the other side — the green side of California. The people side. The California we see in movies. You know, where all the sex and shopping and celebrities happen.

Here on this side of the mountain range, in the booth next to me, there is a family having themselves a relaxed joy time.

There’s nothing better to behold than this!

People casually connected, enjoying themselves, soft chuckles breaking out from time to time, pleasantness and life and envelopment in their moment.

One of the
young girls is perhaps close to my son’s age, maybe a year or two older. It’s hard to tell, girls are more mature and verbal . . . . Oops! The older girl is a boy. One with a higher pitch. I see this as he hops out of the booth for a bathroom run.

Here’s the thing: The parents and the kids swirl in light talk with pockets of silence coming and going. You can tell there is real affection here.

The father reads aloud an Abraham Lincoln quote . . . and they chat about it for a moment, letting the kids suss out their own meanings. So they have me there too. Life lessons can be made anywhere, even retrieved from a phone in the booth of a diner.

God I love this family!

But I can’t tell them. It would be too creepy.

On the road I’ve sat next to enough families on the road to feel the affection or distance. Meal time reveals all.

I’m going to be home by week’s end, relishing time with my own joy boy. And our nephew who’s living with us for the second summer. And that phenom woman who shares her life with me.

Today we celebrate casual connections that run deep. It’s never too late to add more into your life.

Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends with them?

~ Abraham Lincoln

For you 

Evan Griffith
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