I love to travel, see different ways of life.   This week I’ve seen 5 states although mostly through a car window.  This trip allowed for little interaction outside of truck stops and diners but each stop was filled with little tidbits of local flair.  I did have a chance to spent an entire day in Wyoming where I popped into a little drug store to get some nail files and polish, but little did I know that makeup is not sold in such places out here.  If they had make up how would they fit the shelves of beef jerky and hand painted cows which, by the way, were 20% off that day.  I didn’t buy a cow and my nails are still in need of color.  I could have gone to the Walgreens downtown but what’s the fun in shopping in a store that is killing small businesses all across the country.  I also went into a Dairy Queen (I can’t resist my favorite soft serve) where I ordered a small hot fudge sundae with vanilla icecream.  The gentleman behind the counter promptly informed me that all sundaes come with vanilla icecream unless you specify swirl or chocolate.  My ingrained, east coast reaction was assuming he was being smarmy but, after pause, I realized he was merely saving me the effort of noting vanilla as my flavor choice, it is the default.  So I thanked him for the information and paid the $1.39 for my sundae.   In Oklahoma, Regina, the woman working at the truck stop, decided to wear sweatpants to church last Sunday because it was mother’s day and it’s not like they are the sweat pants she cleans the house in.  She wore her good sweatsuit.  It was Mother’s Day after all.   She shared this with me as I bought 4 Krispy Kreme donuts, 2 coffees and an Oklahoma refrigerator magnet all for $5.  I’m not used to such banter but appreciate the friendliness that is hard to come by in my hometown of Boston.  I told her that I too like to wear sweatpants once in a  while.  She said “Well, why wouldn’t ya?”   In Oklahoma the teenage waitress in the diner where we stopped for lunch was more than cordial, refilling our sodas and bringing extra mayo without even batting an eye.  I love the genuine friendliness out west.  The sense of work getting done, life being lived and moving along in a genuine manner.   I like the purity of it, the simplicity in middle America, which I miss being in an east coast city most of the time and working in corporate America.   I hope I keep that with me.

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