It was 530 miles we needed to drive on Friday to get to near Washington DC to celebrate our friend's 94th birthday on Saturday, and then we'd driven 50 extra miles when I wandered off the New Jersey Turnpike onto I-80 West because I was quibbling with Rodney about some stupid TV show and not paying attention. Then there was the 530 miles back on Sunday.
It was worth it. Fun. Warmth. Great food. Great friends. New sights, including a "Prayer Stop" along a road which, sadly, I failed to get a picture of.
An extraordinarily beautiful young woman named Alicia, whom Mark used to work with, and her boyfriend, Mike, whom I've never met, came from Hartford to watch our pets.
Alicia and Mike were gone by the time we got home, but had left on a placemat the little sculpture, pictured above, of pebbles and sea glass they'd picked up on the beach. It struck me as perfectly Zen, and it was balm for eyes that had made too many dismaying glances at the clock or the odometer, had seen too many miles of white line, too many green signs with white letters, too many other cars speeding or slowing along.