Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Thanks for the ride

I grew up in a small town. There are high schools, in the area I live in now, that have more students than the entire population of my hometown.

I work downtown Norfolk, VA and it has been an adventure. Sometimes I reflect back on my childhood and wonder how the heck I ended up here.

My drive to work is like a scene from a cityscape Jurassic park. My entrance to the city begins with a long bridge overlooking a large bay and passes by one of the shipyards. If my windows are open I can smell the sweet scent of the saltwater mixed with the industrial smell of diesel and oil.

The bridge moves right into a tunnel. It passes under the waterway and leads to the city beyond. If I am lucky a ship will be passing over as I enter the tunnel. These ships range in size from small tugboats to the huge cruise ships. It is a strange sight to watch one of those behemoths pass over your head as you enter the tunnel.

Exiting the tunnel plunges me into the tangle of roads leading to downtown. Moving from single lane, to triple, to double lane (because of construction) and into stop and go traffic. The road guides me through an industrial jungle of tall buildings. Some of these are skeletal with huge cranes and excavators working around them. Others are glorious with their shiny new windows and paint. At certain points the construction equipment is almost close enough to touch (if you reach out of the window). The Neanderthal looking construction workers discourage any thoughts of this. The roar of the mechanical monsters, the smell of the exhaust, the thumping of jackhammers is all a bit overwhelming. At the same time it is fascinating and I am glad that the traffic is slow. This allows the country boy to rubber neck to his heart’s content.

What a strange journey life has taken. It makes me look forward to the rest.


  1. Nice descriptive article and nicely written. However, I often wonder how the heck you ended down there too:) Certainly wouldn't mind having you back up here in this little hick town to suffer out the snow with the rest of us.

    I'm glad that you have the courage to be adventurous, but must admit that you didn't get it from me. Miss You!

  2. Nice update. The mental leap of looking around objectivly is a very hard leap to make. Its a good feeling when you can stop and look and REALLY see what is around.