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A day out

Posted by markdohle , 06 July 2006 · 136 views

Sometimes, when driving in town, I am almost overwhelmed by all the traffic, the noise, and also by witnessing the rapidity in which Atlanta and its surrounding area is growing.  Yesterday I drove Richard to a 4 PM appointment in a part of Metropolitan Atlanta that I was not familiar with, at a time when rush hour traffic is just beginning.  The appointment was in Lawrenceville, a town about 30 miles from were we began our journey.  Got me a yahoo map off the computer, and the shortest route was going up State Road 124, a road that I was familiar with.  Usually I do not go beyond Hwy 78, but today was different and so I continued up 124 looking for “Sugar Loaf Parkway”; a road I remember seeing in years past.  Of course the area had grown, some of the growth I remember from the late 90’s, when the building in that area started to pick up. A time that I used HWY 124 a lot, to go to a psychiatric  hospital to visit one of the people that I was helping to take care of.  

On this trip I noticed that growth seemed to be going thru another spurt; it looked like a large strip mall, miles long, was being constructed at the same time.  Sort of like a mushroom garden, things were going up so fast.  Of course the traffic was fun, driving in the city is such a joy, but moving at a good speed.  Luckily we were moving in the direction that was not affected too much by rush hour.  Got to the office and the wait was not too bad, considering that Richard had to be fitted into their already full schedule.  

On the way back, since it was after five, we decided to get some supper.  There was a fast food restaurant near the doctors’ office that specializes in chicken sandwiches and salads; so we went there.  The first thing I felt when entering the restaurant was a sense of high energy, explosive, ragged, fun loving, and yes, very loud.  Sort of like one of my family reunions with my brothers and sisters.  The place full of teenagers, I guess about 20 or so, most seemed to be about 15 years old, and the manager not being much older, perhaps twenty, running the show.  We got our meal; me with a chicken salad, and Richard with a sandwich and fries, found a seat sat down.  

As we ate, I had to laugh at myself, sitting there watching all the young life, part of me enjoying it, another being disapproving at all the ruckus and noise, sort of the last thing I needed; I am my father I chuckled to myself.  However it was mostly enjoyable being around such a sea of life, knowing that these kids having a good time were also going thru a period of their life that for many might be the most difficult period of their lives.  Not yet an adult, no longer children, many probably struggling with the desire of getting away from their parents, and at the same time being fearful of life as an adult.  Grades, girls, belonging, all the things that teenagers seem to be concerned with, and to top it off, a body that is changing at a very fast rate; well no wonder they are so lively.  They have the energy because they need it.  

One of the ‘kids’, a boy came over to a table behind Richard and jumped up on it, and balancing himself on the balls of his feet while squatting, and talked to a group of teenagers across a partition.  I thought, man if I tried that I would end up in the ER.  He did it with such little effort, well no effort at all.  I tried to remember when I could do that.  I could not, the reason being when young I was not conscious at how easily my body obeyed me in doing things, that today would take just a little more effort, or a lot.

As I continued to think about the young, it hit me that these kids could easily not be my own children, but my grandchildren; now that was a thought.  I am not my father, but my grandfather.  Well it was only a small blip on the screen; young inside but on the outside a balding, somewhat overweight man, with a grey bread, moving into white; why should it be a surprise to me?  Also the fact that children are now thinking I am Santa should have alerted me long ago………yes denial a protection soon stripped away just by observing life, something I can live with.  
I am content with being my age, being a teenager once is enough for me, and I am more than happy to continue the path that I am on now.   People often wish that they were younger and I understand that, but being pilgrims we cannot go back, we can only go forward, and I think the aging process is an important part of the journey; bad knees, sagging body and all.  They are at the beginning and I am, I suppose, in the autumn of my life. Not yet ready to move on, still loving life, hoping for at least a couple more decades before I move on to wherever we move on to.  Knowing that soon, these teenagers will be sitting where I am, looking at a room full of young people, and perhaps like me, being a little annoyed, but also loving and appreciating what it means to be a teenager, just beginning their journey thru life.

Nice post.   yes.gif

So you're outside of Atlanta?

I'm from that area.   thumbsup.gif   It's ridiculous trying to drive there!
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[quote name='coldethyl' date='Jul 6 2006, 12:28 PM']

(((((I'm from that area.   thumbsup.gif   It's ridiculous trying to drive there!)))))

Yep, some days are more than ridiculous, but I do love Atlanta.


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