BEING HONEST

When we are young we are often told by our parents to tell the truth. What they should have shared with us was to tell them the truth but be careful of how  you say your truth to others.

We had one house rule which was always policed in our home and it was to tell the truth no matter how difficult for the speaker; or the recipient. We could get away with all sorts of misdemeanors so long as we told the truth. As an adult, I have found that many are not interested in the truth. Their hearts and minds prefer a sugar-coated explanation in line with their perception and perspective. The truth is deemed too harsh, too direct. It’s as if many will swallow a bit of stale cake so long as the icing is thick and tasty.

For someone with my upbringing, the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is the only way I know. As you can imagine, my path of honesty has got me into  a lot of hot water.

I often playback the courtroom scene in, “A Few Good Men” where Jack Nicholson barks at  Tom Cruise, “You can’t handle the truth.” And it’s true, many can’t handle truth. In questioning why, I’ve found it’s often because another’s truth and what another perceives differs. So I ask myself,  what then is truth?

To me, truth is facts, actions, events told exactly as they appear. Is it that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. But each of us has our own reality so truth is in accordance with fact and the viewers or listeners reality. Truth then becomes warped because your perception and mine may differ.

When researching truth I was directed to various religious sites. I was unaware that speaking the truth was a religious ideology as I thought of the truth as a human concept.

What I have found to be more consistent than the truth is a fact or belief that is accepted as true. Your truth is true to you and my truth is truthful to me but, and it’s a big but, if the your truth and my truth differ, then what is the truth? Or if our facts and beliefs are the same, then our facts and beliefs are accepted as true and only then does it become true, but only to those who are in agreement with our truth.

Regardless if something is true, one must make others accept the facts or events as truth in order for them to become as accepted as true.

Aha! At last, I have found a way to stay out of the dog house when telling the truth. I have to make sure I warp and lie about the truth well enough that others believe it as true. Do you think this is true?

Truth!

#truthbomb

LAS to BNA: Quest for the Best Biscuit along I-40

Two weeks from today, our SOUTHERN SOJOURN adventure begins. Stoked? You bet I am. Like many, my BFF Carol and I need an adventure. A clean and clear break away from the respected daily routine. I need a big hit of freedom and nothing does it for me like a road trip. This anticipated trip covers it all from Sin City to Music City and everything in between.

…electric, eclectic LAS along I-40 to friendly, fabulous BNA…

Nashville, TN - Music City

A highlight for me will be the Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim, then Santa Fe, New Mexico and Nashville, Tennessee. Long have I yearned to see these places and while the visit will be short, I’m certain I’ll be back again.

How did this foolishness start you wonder? I travel as often and whenever I can. Last road trip Carol and I survived was to Asheville, North Carolina. Now I’m lucky when I travel, super lucky. Carol is not. She is a lightening rod for bad weather and our trip to meet with friends from South Carolina was no exception. It started off well, all smiles and happy. As we drove South, the skies got ominous and there was an eeriness in the air which was hard to explain. Hackles up, I stopped at a gas station in Beckley, West Virginia to fill the tank. I heard the pump click off, darkness descended and winds whipped. Carol ran back to the car from the station store and I backed us into the crook of a building. We watched and waited until the “Derecho” ( a downgrade from a hurricane) passed. The first I’ve encountered and I hope the last.

As with all storms, it passed and direct damage was no power in West Virginia for two weeks. The power was out in five states and also in Washington, DC.  We still had another four hours drive to Asheville through the Smokey Mountains. I asked Carol what she wanted to do but she said since I was driving, it was my decision. To ensure our safety I decided to book the nearest hotel, but it was not to be. Front desk advised all hotels within a two hour radius were booked and all without power. We had the choice of sleeping in the car or driving into North Carolina. I opted for the latter.

Driving along a pitch-black, windy, winding, debris strewn road was not my idea of adventure. Tiny Irish roads and wicked Canadian snowstorms aside, when I saw debris on the Interstate, and I am talking whole branches of trees, large branches, I questioned my choice. The Interstate drive was slow but we fared better after Johnson City, TN. When we arrived 4am at our hotel in Asheville, my hands and the steering wheel had melded. A hard-earned, frosty beer poolside steadied my nerves and after a good nights sleep, we awoke to one of the hottest heat waves to hit North Carolina.

Plans that day were to climb Chimney Rock but my pals Charlotte and Rich, natural-born Southerners acclimatized to heat declined the climb as it was “too damn hot.” This Canuck had melted to the point of exhaustion so we headed back to Asheville to listen to a concert in the park and enjoy some local fare and micro-brews. Sadly, twenty-one locals died that day of heat-related illness. It was indeed, too damn hot.

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Chimney Rock, NC

The return home was no better. After an enjoyable albeit humid morning spent at the Biltmore Mansion we drove North through the Smokey Mountains. The power was out in West Virginia which meant State Troopers were patrolling the gas stations. While we were mildly inconvenienced, I thought of the thousands of families without water to wash, cook, bathe, wishing I could help, I counted my blessings.

Biltmore Mansion in Bloom
Biltmore Mansion in Bloom

On the way home we drove through pretty pink and yellow, electrical storms in the mountains of West Virginia and torrential rain that forced me to stop driving. What is one to do in these conditions? Like all trials in life, you steady yourself and plough forward with as much heart and grace as you can muster.  Carol stayed calm which gave me the added strength to do just that which I will always value.

The last point of interest on the journey home was Fallingwater, a designated landmark home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright south of Pittsburgh, PA. The home and area had been without power so their schedule was out of whack but they let us in and we were happy, and amazed.

Fallingwater home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright
Fallingwater home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

And of course we made a safe return and have stories to tell and memories to share, now, and when we are old gals rocking our rockers. I suspect our newest adventure will be full of good times, great experiences, warm and wonderful people and more memories to rock on.

Stay tuned friends and family. I will post the updates as you’ve requested, as best I can.

Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.
~ Mary Ritter Beard