Generation Gap

Heard from row of seats behind me on plane ride to Nashville:

Mother: “Dear”, (to husband), “He’s having trouble with the WiFi …”

“Here”, (to young son), “Take my phone and you can look at some pictures.”

Mind you, amazing views are happening right outside the window. Rivers are winding like ribbons between manmade squares and circles in the fertile soil, and rocky outcroppings are interrupting those fields. Then straight lines, roads, and rows of rooftops float by below us.

When our kids were his age, my husband and I took road trips across the continent, camping in national parks along the way. Our kids were required to look out the window. If they somehow smuggled contraband into the van (cd players, game boy) those were swiftly confiscated.

Not so today. Parents are shoving technology into the hands of their babies and turning them on so they can tune them out.

One thing I know: today’s parents won’t have to deal with this when traveling with their kids:

“Mom, Tell him to stop!”
“Stop what, dear?”
“Tell him to stop looking at me!”

At home, I usually spend time in my sewing room every day. And when we run errands, I keep a tote bag in the car with handwork to do on the road. On this trip I brought nothing to keep my hands busy, and I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I worried a little about it. You’ve seen the t-shirt that says, “I knit so I won’t kill people”. Well, If you’re like me, you get it. But it wasn’t a problem at all. My eyes were occupied with looking out the window:

I don’t see anything like this when I am home. I live near water, but it is salty. It doesn’t burble over rocks or grow moss and ferns. Here, in the Smoky Mountains, water is everywhere. It trickles from the limestone shale on both sides of the road. It evaporates into mist that blankets the valleys.

I wonder if the locals grow tired of this gentle beauty that surrounds them.

More views from my car window:

The locals kept telling us how we just missed the beautiful fall season. A windy storm had blown the leaves off the trees a couple of weeks ago.

No need to apologize friends. This is beautiful!

Down the road we go.

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