By Ruth A. Ringelstetter
At many Thanksgiving tables this year, people will share those things that they are most thankful for. I’m thankful for my family and friends. And again this year, I’m grateful that my youngest sister Peggy and her family invite Joann and me to share their Thanksgiving table.
But I am also thankful for our photography trips. Sometimes as Joann and I drive out into the early morning darkness, we talk about what we loved and appreciated about prior trips, and what we hope for the day or the trip ahead. Often we have only stars and the moon overhead, but we ask for blue skies and puffy white clouds later in the day. And as the day dawns, we look for any sign of clouds, and then ask for more clouds to join in our party.
When we’re staying overnight in a strange town, I’m grateful for Irwin (the most wonderful GPS in the world) who helps us to find our motel at night. Sometimes he’s not quite sure where the motel is, but he usually gets us close enough that we can find it ourselves. And I’m always reminded of trying to find our motel in Michigan in the dark before we had Irwin on our side. It was late and we were very confused about where we were, not to mention where the motel was.
I appreciate all of the squiggly road signs that are indications of our favorite kind of road. The roads usually wander through hills and valleys, and we have to wonder what we might find around the next bend. This is what we love about the western part of Wisconsin, and we’ve been lucky enough to find these types of roads in many areas of the country that we have visited so far. And we look forward to all of the squiggly roads in our future.
I appreciate the small country roads that are not shortcuts to anywhere. These kinds of roads allow us to find scenes to photograph, and spend an hour or more at a location without seeing another car. Often it is just us and nature. We’re thankful for all of the birds and wildlife that we see along these roads.
I’m grateful to live in a state that has all four seasons of the year. In Wisconsin, we’re coming into the long cold winter, but that will give us opportunities to drive out into the white landscape and find photo opportunities. And I’m very thankful for Good Car’s heater, since I am not as eager as Joann to trudge out into the snow to get a picture of a creek or canyon, and I often wait in the car, marking more spots to check out, until she returns.
And I’m always grateful for spring. It’s hard to watch the trees lose their gorgeous leaves in the fall, but the knowledge that spring will come, along with all the gorgeous colors and smells of spring blossoms, makes the long wait through winter worth it.
As you enjoy Thanksgiving with your family or friends, I hope you have as many blessings to be thankful for as we have. And if your Thanksgiving takes you over the roads to someone’s house, enjoy and appreciate the scenery along the way.
Happy Thanksgiving and, until next time, Happy Shunpiking!