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Welcome to the online blog for traveler/writer/photographer Steven Barber. Come in. Relax. Take off your shoes and socks -- or any other article of clothing, this is the internet. Have a look around. I hope to intrigue, amuse, entertain, and maybe provoke you just a little. I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

Monday, September 30, 2013

A Moment's Reflection

The act of putting pen to paper encourages pause for thought, this in turn makes us think more deeply about life, which helps us regain our equilibrium.
                                -  Norbet Platt

Good eats!
I'm sitting at the counter in my new favorite diner here in my home town of Long Beach. Inside, the diner is little more than a hole in the wall, a basic '50s-ish low rent place with faded prints in cheap frames on pale white walls, and a white old-style Kenmore refrigerator sitting against the wall behind the counter. A big screen tv sits atop the fridge, and is tuned to a local news station. Off to one side of the fridge sits a stainless steel shelf with roughly ten jars filled with a variety of home made jams and jellies...for the truly home-made bread. As if I found myself transported back a half century to when food was real and service was personal. (This interpretation is recounted from a variety of tv show reruns and classic radio programs. Personally, I don't recall much before the mid-sixties.)

It's Sunday morning. Despite an active travel year already in 2013, things are set for a very busy October. It's difficult for me to realize how much of the year is gone - three quarters of it -- and how much has happened. It has flown by. 

Looking forward to driving the Sea to Sky Hwy
This next month sees a few business trips. This next week alone will find me in El Paso; Carlsbad, NM ( with a side trip to the Caverns, of course; and Las Vegas. (Kind of a wide range of environments, with the desert being the only real similarity). Later in the month it's back to Texas for a meeting in Austin, and then my wife and I head up to the Great White North for a visit to Whistler and Vancouver, two of our favorite cities in North America.

Multiple airports
And that's just October.

But as I sit here waiting for my sausage omelette to arrive, sipping at my oh-so-basic cup of coffee...no latte, no creme, no mocha. Just simple, basic coffee...I am exceptionally aware of making the most of life. Life is not simply getting by, day to day. It's very tempting to think of it that way, I admit. When things are flying past at the tempo they seem to be doing these days, it's often like a massive game of whac-a-mole. (For the uninitiated, this is a game that commonly appears in game rooms like Chuck E Cheese or Dave and Buster's in which the head of a mole or other small woodland creature pops its head up through a hole and you, the player, have to use a mallet to hit as many of the little critters as you can for the duration of the game. It's a marvelous tension reducer, but not so great when you build a lifestyle around it.)
Vegas, of course...

This is why, at this moment, I'm at the diner. A moment of quiet respite before hitting the road can remind you what it is to stop and relax for a while and just appreciate the basic things in life. Exploring is what fulfills us, and it's useful to connect with your hometown to "level set" as we say. 

Tomorrow it's time for the road.

A moment of reflection

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