Sometimes you have to see something worse off than your situation to understand how good you have it. Because I am curious, I wanted to see where Barb would be working in a few weeks after her license test. That place is Farwell. She told all of us there wasn’t anything to see, but I have instilled a good bit of curiosity and willingness to travel for the sake of traveling. Plus the temperature is hovering around 80 degrees in the convection oven of a house.
Getting out in an air conditioned car no matter the reason sounded good to all of us. Even if the trip was to Farwell. Car trips used to bore me. I would fall asleep and at times I still do, but most of the time I try to experience what is outside our car. I love finding new sights, such as the single old tree in the middle of a field, an old barn, trying to get the kids to look at the various animals, or just watching the scenery unfold. Never having been to Farwell, I looked forward to the trip. Did I mention the air conditioning?
I bag on Big Rapids a lot. Such as Big Rapids is the fast food capital of the region. Which also makes it the obesity, diabetes, and cholesterol capital of the region. I don’t know if these things are true other than we have yet to travel into or through a town of similar size (apx 10,000 residents) that had as many or more fast food restaurants as here. Or there is no grocery store here. Do not try and pass off Aldi’s as a grocery store, I know grocery stores and Aldi’s is no grocery store. There are big box stores, Meijers and Walmart. These features along with Ferris State University define Big Rapids.
And I bag on that a lot. However, I know that there are worse places to live. Places where they do not have any fast food restaurants or grocery stores or big box stores or universities. In my head, these places could be idyllic almost Utopian or barren wastelands of homes, closed shops, and tumbleweeds. Thankfully, until today we had not seen the barren wasteland.
Farwell is about…if you guessed an hour away before reading it you would be correct…an hour away. There are two ways there from here, a back road or a bigger back road. Barb drove the back road up to show me the lake. Along the way I saw cows, horses, lots of trees, farms, and the like. Plus, we had a every enjoyable conversation on the way there about life, immediate future, long term plans, and how we can make the most of the summer.
Farwell…saw her Rite Aid and then less than a half-mile away the town of Clare home of Cops and Donuts. That was Farwell. The only reason we saw so much was we had to wait at the stop sign. Through Clare where our conversation continued about the possibilities of moving closer to her job and things we’d like to start doing instead of waiting for other people to determine our path. Clare led to the bigger back road, here is a question: why are there signs for the highway ending , but none for the beginning?
That question aside, we drove home carrying on the conversation until we got back here where even as we drove past fast food restaurant row on our way to the big boxes we were a little bit more thankful they were here.