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by Ron
Different Perspectives
In previous columns I have written about my impressions and thoughts while moving about the country enjoying this nomadic lifestyle. The articles have dealt with attitudes as well as some logistical considerations that full-timers encounter. This column goes right to the title --- view from the drivers seat. Our travels this summer got me thinking about that when I realized that my co- pilot and I see different things. 

On one occasion she remarked, �I really would like to see what you see.�  It was a remark made out of frustration because I had neglected to see a directional sign and often times fail to see something that is of interest to her.  It might be an old abandoned weather-beaten shack or a magnificent waterfall.  It could be a lonely windmill left standing at a long abandoned ranch site or a humorous bill board. So what do I see? Hopefully, I am seeing a good view of the upcoming road and traffic while concentrating on keeping between the lines at a safe rate of speed. That answer is a cope-out when traveling long uninhabited stretches of western prairie land as we did this past summer. Let's be truthful; we see different things. I  plead guilty to missing some important directional signs (I have to work on that), but I do have good peripheral vision because the Texas driver licensing people said I did. 

Although I was a finance person with the Michigan Department of Transportation, I spent 27 years looking at roads from the engineer's perspective and think of myself as an experienced road builder and maintenance man through osmosis. I notice when a shoulder drops more than two inches from pavement (a no-no) and I notice when a state is using old unsafe cable guard rail or when guard rail posts are rotting. I get upset when construction signing is not within Federal Highway standards and wonder why these people are setting themselves up for a law suit. I wonder why apparently new roads built under good soil conditions are wavy and why the state inspectors didn't require good compaction and density. You can see why I might have missed that billboard or waterfall; however, I do appreciate it when they are pointed out. 

Just as in life, we all see things in a different way depending on our background and interests. There are two lessons here. One is that we should not expect everyone to see things as we do, but the second lesson is just as important. We should try to expand our horizons and interests as well as welcoming new learning experiences. We will enrich our life by doing that. I'll still keep my eyes on the road, but will honestly try to leave the road building to others while enjoying the total traveling experience....... Barb, did you see the old faded Mail Pouch sign on that barn? 

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