My son Alistair and I had just spent three days crisscrossing South Dakota. Some of the candidates for President in 2020 will not spend as much time in that state or see as much of it as we did. It is amazing and varied state. Yes, there are a lot of cornfields but there are also hidden lakes, agate beds, a great river with an immense connection to our nation’s history, Black Hills, Mount Rushmore and that oasis of interstate highway boredom, the Corn Palace.
But as we we’re passing into Nebraska and soon after Iowa, I didn’t know what I would write about the election outcomes South Dakotans might be looking for that would be any different than what I might have written before we embarked on this journey; we talked to some folks in our three days across the state, but not about that. Why that is should be the subject of some future post.
In any case, with a post still to write about South Dakota and the growing realization that I needed a different approach to the district we visited next (the Missouri-5th – outside Kansas City was in my sights) I was getting increasingly anxious and irritable about how I was going to get it all done and take Alistair to the places I wanted him to see and get us back home to Vermont on time. That afternoon driving down I-29 could be categorized by any number of adjectives – fun was not one of them.
But then, I had a forest-for-the-trees kind of moment that is easy to see when you are following a story but not so easy sometimes when you are living it. It dawned on me that spending all of my energy on what may well be a vain attempt to create a better version of the future for my son at the expense of an opportunity to spend real quality (read interesting and fun) time with him right now when he’s 11-years old and willing to spend it with me was stupid, perhaps insane.
All this to explain why Alistair and I spent the last week seeing interesting things: lots more of the Lewis and Clark Trail, which we followed from North Dakota all the way back to St. Louis, Omaha, The Gateway Arch, the beautiful city of Pittsburgh, but barely paused to think about what district they are in. There will be time for all that but quite possibly never a better time for this.
More about the districts and updates to PFA coming next week.