Mile 258 - Graceland

Americans are strange birds.  Muslim cultures have pilgrimages.  We do road trips.  Great Britain has Buckingham Palace, an estate acquired by the royals in the mid 1600’s by King insert Louis or George here # insert Roman numerals here.  We have Graceland, the home of the King of Rock ‘N Roll, Elvis 1, who died in ’77.  For an American, no journey is complete without Graceland.  So we made it the first stop on our road trip.  
It was late in the evening.  Graceland was closed.  Kiley signed the wall with a washable Crayola green marker.  We took a few pictures.  That’s about it, but now I can say I’ve been.  I am an American.  But no road trip through Memphis is complete without a few tacky pictures in front of Graceland.  Tacky pictures at Graceland, check.
I have been to Russia, Romania, Hungary, and The Bahamas.  I have been from Maine to Miami, but at 37.9 years old I have never crossed the Mississippi River.  Last week I ate lunch on its banks in New Orleans, but until now, its western shore is a mystery to me.  Tomorrow I cross that great divide headed west.
For a good part of my life the Grand Canyon has been on my bucket list.  Being a man who fears heights, it may sound strange that I have always wanted to see a place where I could fall to my death.  Someone at church yesterday asked me if I planned to ride a donkey to the bottom of the canyon.  That question was strangely ironic as I had just completed a sermon exploring a text in Genesis that refers to Ishmael as a “wild donkey of a man.”  So for my readers allow me to clarify my phobias.  I do not trust my life to animals, therefore I do not ride them.  I do not do things that may lead to falls long enough to give me time to think about how hard I’m about to hit bottom.  Therefore I will not be riding a donkey or a horse to the bottom of anything, including the Grand Canyon.
Two young thugs :), I know who you are, rolled our yard two weeks ago. Shannon missed garbage day last week, so our garbage can overflowed this week.  It became a resort for flies.  In our final moments of packing on Sunday afternoon it seems that one of them entered our van.  Two things about flies.  1)  Flies know how to enter vehicles, but they have no idea how to get out.  2)  Flies have borderline miraculous escape powers.  So there is a fly in the van with us.  He checks in every hour on the hour.  Perhaps he knows that as a fly he won’t live long and that without a van he won’t get very far.  He wants more our of life than our garbage can.  Perhaps he needs a road trip.
You’ve got to love the prospects of a road trip to a place you’ve never been before.  For us, every inch of all 4,000 miles will be new.  We prayed before we left that God would protect us on the journey, show us new things, and that we would be different when we returned than we were when we left.  For the first 258, so far, so good.  I’m curious to see what comes next.


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