Sunday, February 24, 2008

Cruising Down Hiway 41

Way back in the late 70s...early 80s, there was such a thing as a "CB radio". I know, not because I had one, but because my father had one in his car. He traveled a lot and on one trip, I went along. This was also during the height of 55 mph speed limits on major highways and interstates due to high inflation, gas prices, etc. etc. Imagine my surprise as my father spoke to all these truckers up and down the highway as we traveled. And most of those conversations were about where "Smokie" (highway patrol) was to avoid tickets. But man......doing 55 was CRAWLING. Especially to a young speed demon like me who regularly drove 80 or better on the interstate. Going fast was F-U-N. (Actually surprised that I'm still alive and kicking due to all that F-U-N.) "Doing double nickels" was the term as I recall. And I just couldn't live with the thought of having to poke down the highway for the rest of my life.

And now, it's 2008. And I'm living the double nickel life for real........not just on the highways and byways. I still like to go fast, just not as often. And sometimes, not even as fast. Being 55, I"m finding, is sort of suited to going 55. Well, sort of. There are plenty of times the heart of that 22 year old beats loud and strong (usually on those flying trips to Atlanta) and the speedometer hovers right on 80. But lately, there are more and more times that 65 or heck, maybe even 60 is plenty fast enough. I consider those my "catching a breath" moments. And I find that now I need a few more of those than I did back then. But that's okay. I'm still cruising and that's what counts. And I'm not running on empty by a long shot.