Expect laughter! Expect learning! Expect lasting ideas!

Posts tagged ‘economy’

The Comfort of Travel Routines

Bobbe White

3.2.17

written for wtad.com

itll-do-motel

We recently drove to Denver, for about the 37th time or so. As routes go, there are limited options from Quincy IL to Denver. Whichever way you go, it’s like going to Subway. Order #34; it’s about 7 feet long and 3 feet high. Slice the bread lengthwise down the middle with a saw. Flatten it on a big piece of paper. Squirt a mustard stripe down the middle. That’s your center line. Nothing else goes on it.. And that’s #34. Also known as “the Kansas”, because that’s what the drive is like. Or take the northern route, it’s like ordering #37, a/k/a “The Nebraska”.

They’re aptly named for the order in which they entered the Union. Took us a while to decide if we really wanted them, but some great athletes and comedians came from those states, so the powers said, “Sure, let ’em in.” Anyway, you get the picture. Long, ho-hum, hairy-dog drives.

Each state has a unique place in our routine:

Missouri, Macon McDonald’s: We order the same lunch every single time: Filet-o-Fish medium meal deal, with an extra fish and Southwest Salad. That’s it. Bingo-Bango-Bongo. They never get it right. Ever. Jeff vents about this situation, every time.  “We ought to make every kid in America set up a lemonade stand three times, before working at McDonald’s. They’d learn how to take orders and make change!

After Missouri, is Kansas and our multi-town hotel quest. I have saved the monologue in my phone notes for quick referencing.

1st: Seneca has the Althoffen Inn and McDonald’s, but we’re not tired yet. (Drive on.)

2nd: Washington has the Oak Tree Inn and Casey’s. (Still not tired.)

3rd town: “Belleville’s got squattum”, Jeff says. (We’re a little tired.)

4th: Mankato hasn’t got sh*t!  (Uh-oh.)

5th: Smith Center has a Dollar General, “But that does us no $&?#*% good.” (Somebody’s cranky…)

6th: Phillipsburg has a spankin’ new Rodeway Inn. (Got our second wind. Keep driving.)

7th stop: Norton-“Oh Honey, they’ve got a Dairy Queen! Sleep Inn looks nice.  (But, nope! Onward…)

8th: Oberlin-Oh boy, they’ve got a Chesters and a Subway. Comfort Inn too.

9th: St. Francis-“Look at that!” Jeff says. “The It’ll Do Motel.” Photo opp stop.

I must’ve fallen asleep after that…

We recently drove to Denver, for about the 37th time or so. As routes go, there’re limited options from Quincy IL to Denver. Whichever way you go, it’s like going to Subway. Order #34; it’s about 7 feet long and 3 feet high. Slice the bread lengthwise down the middle with a saw. Flatten it on a big piece of paper. Squirt a mustard stripe down the middle. That’s your center line. Nothing else goes on it.. And that’s #34. Also known as “the Kansas”, because that’s what the drive is like. Or take the northern route, it’s like ordering #37, a/k/a “The Nebraska”.

They’re aptly named for the order in which they entered the Union. Took us a while to decide if we really wanted them, but some great athletes and comedians came from those states, so the powers said, “Sure, let ’em in.” Anyway, you get the picture. Long, ho-hum, hairy-dog drives.

Each state has a unique place in our routine:

Missouri, Macon McDonald’s: We order the same lunch every single time: Filet-o-Fish medium meal deal, with an extra fish and Southwest Salad. That’s it. Bingo-Bango-Bongo. They never get it right. Ever. Jeff vents about this situation, every time.  “We ought to make every kid in America set up a lemonade stand three times, working at McDonald’s. They’d learn how to take orders and make change!

After Missouri, is Kansas and our multi-town hotel quest. I save the monologue in my phone notes for quick referencing.

1st: Seneca has the Althoffen Inn and McDonald’s, but we’re not tired yet. Drive on.

2nd: Washington has the Oak Tree Inn and Casey’s. Still not tired.

3rd town: “Belleville’s got squattum”, Jeff says. We’re a little tired.

4th: Mankato hasn’t got sh*t!  (Uh-oh.)

5th: Smith Center has a Dollar General, “but that does us no $&?#*% good.” (Somebody’s cranky…)

6th: Phillipsburg has a spankin’ new Rodeway Inn. (Got our second wind. Keep driving.)

7th stop: Norton-“Oh Honey, they’ve got a Dairy Queen! Sleep Inn looks nice.  (But, nope! Onward…)

8th: Oberlin-“Oh boy, they’ve got a Chesters and a Subway. Comfort Inn too.”

9th: St. Francis-“Look at that!” Jeff says. “The It’ll Do Motel.” Photo opp stop.

I must’ve fallen asleep after that…

Colorado: Giddy-up! We stop at the first and only gas station in the Colorado plains. The Rockies are still hours away. Looks like Kansas. We request the restroom keys. It’s seriously attached to a billy club. I feel like a Bobbe, the London Bobby, with a billy. “Who’d want it?” we ask the clerk. She says we’d be surprised.

Fast forward three days and the man at the Denver Residence Inn desk asks, “Leaving already?”

“We only reserved two nights…”

“Hmmmm,” he says. I just remember you two. (Really?) We blink at him.

“I remember people who talk to me.” He says to us. We love this place.

“We’ll be back!”

We head home and stop at the same cafe near the Colorado-Kansas border. I don’t even recall the town, at this point. All we know is, the woman who is owner/waitress/cook is still crabby. But the eggs are good and the bacon is crisp.

Nice to know some things never change.

bathroom-keys

Advertisements

The Four F’s For More Happiness

I have been learning about the prospect of happiness as an important element in global survival, as major changes loom on the horizon. What I believe: the trend from convenience services to doing more for ourselves – for less – is part of this trend. It’s economy driven. Or lack of economy, as it seems. For example, it will be more expensive to drive to restaurants and fast food places (cost of gas) and unhealthy choices (bad fast food/obesity) and cost of food (supply and demand) that will be force us to live more simply, ride less, walk and bike more, grow and eat garden vegetables, and consume fewer processed foods. This can’t be all bad, right?

It can be summed up in the FOURbidden (4-4-4)  FOURmula: gas at more than $4.00/gallon, hamburgers at more than $4/patty, and food consisting of more than four ingredients. We must get back to a more natural state of living – and doing so happily with these changes.  Our environment, both physically and economically is beginning to demand it.

So, how can we find a level of happiness and a sense of humor that can sustain us through some tough times ahead?  The idea of wanting more and more possessions could become prohibitive, so we must learn to fill our heads and hearts with other things, in order to find happiness within ourselves.

As a professional speaker and a banker, I LoVe LoVe LoVe speaking to groups who like learning my (banking) philosophy:  cash in on obvious humor – every day in every place, balance yourself with laugh-minded friends, deposit daily entries into a humor journal, laugh at your own expense, and compound your laughter daily. Money ia a metaphor-mindset with this philosophy. Who knew that the very thing that will cause the major shifts – and stressors – in our lives (money) can translate into a higher level of happiness? It’s the little things that can cause the biggest change. (i.e. finding humor every day equals more joy in even the most mundane and stressing experiences of life…running errands, sitting in traffic, toilet paper on your shoe.)

While the politicians try to color our world with promises of the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, you may want to consider the other end of the rainbow. Those who know me, know that I am anything but a pessimist. But there are too many economic indicators otherwise. Don’t be clouded by a few recent rain showers – the drought will still have major implications on food supply and cost next year. Don’t expect gas prices to drop. Our global supply is not infinite. Alternative energy sources are imperative.  In spite of the political rhetoric, the economy is still quite fragile – here and abroad. If Healthcare, Medicare and social care were circus performers, they are pretty well teetering on a threadbare tightrope and if the costuming were hospital gowns, their flaps are wide open in the back for all to see! We have a lot of areas that need fixin’ fast, but it won’t happen until our proverbial backs are against a wall. That’s when ‘Merica will shine at her best.

The above issues are overwhelming. And individually, none of us can find a quick fix. In the meantime, we can fix ourselves. Now THAT we can do.  I’m not an economic expert, although I do live with one. So I get a daily dose of reality. That makes it important to me to balance the dark with the light. Here are some simple tips for adding more joy to your life…

  • Lonely? Get a dog, cat, turtle, bird or fish. Not kidding.
  • Sad?  Take a look at the people you spend time with. Do they bring you down? Ditch them.
  • Broke? Learn to live lighter. We really don’t need all the StUfF we think we do. Make an attempt to pay down debt. As what’s-his-name-says, “Debt is dumb. Cash is king!”
  • Joyless? Look for simple humor every day. Start writing it down.
  • Depressed? Stop watching the news. Read enough to know what’s going on, but remember what I had to tell my elderly parents:  CNN repeats itself every 30 minutes! Why subject yourself to so much negativity?  Get the facts from several sources, then move on to Dancing with the Stars, The Voice, or Full House reruns.