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On the Road again and again and again

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By Rev. James Snyder

Unlike the singer, Willie Nelson, I can wait to get on the road again. In fact, if I never get on the road again, I will be one happy camper, and I don’t even like camping.

For the past three weeks ... or has it been three years ... I have been on the road traveling. As glamorous and exciting as traveling is during the planning stage somehow that excitement does not translate itself when you are actually on the road. I have discovered two kinds of road kill. Animals who unfortunately are hit by fast-moving vehicles and people in those vehicles who are sick and tired of the road and want to kill it.

I wonder how much jail time I would get for killing some road?

So far, I have been in seven states, which has put me in such a state of mind that I am beside myself. Believe me, traveling with myself is no picnic. The next time I travel, I plan to pick a more compatible companion.

It is not so much that I mind my own company, but when I argue with myself, I can never tell who wins. At one point I was in such a ferocious argument with myself that I was about ready to stop the car, step outside and give myself a good punch in the nose. I settled for a good "talking to." I must have listened to myself because the argument stopped.

Whenever you travel on the road, one of the necessities is finding a place to eat. This is much harder than it first appears. For the first several days, it is quite exciting trying to find a place to eat and then trying out different dishes. The idea that I do not have to wash the dishes is the premium while eating.

But by the fourth day, everything begins to taste the same, like soggy cardboard. I do not care how much ketchup you put on soggy cardboard, it still tastes like soggy cardboard with ketchup on it.

It is about this time I began to appreciate the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage – especially her marvelous cuisine. She has the amazing ability to take soggy cardboard with ketchup on it and make it taste like sirloin steak. Of course, with the Parsonage budget she has had to do that many times through the years. But she is an expert at it.

All this traveling on the road has made me appreciate good old home cooking. I stopped at one restaurant with a sign that boasts, "Home Cooking." After several bites, I was beginning to wonder which home this was cooked in. I was imagining, which ended up making me lose my appetite.

Home cooking is only as good as the home it is cooked in. And I was beginning to long for some good old home cooking cooked in the Parsonage. The worst home-cooked meal beats the best cooking on the road.

If you travel for any length of time out of necessity, you must spend some nights in a motel. For the first few days or even up to a week this is an exciting adventure. Finding a good motel for the night, negotiating the price for the room and then settling down in your room for the night. That is the only exciting part about staying in a motel.

Then comes the time of going to sleep. If there are comfortable beds in any motel room in the entire country, they have successfully hid it from me. All the brochures tell of the wonderful beds all across our country. Either they are downright lying about the situation, or somebody sees me coming.

That one motel that leaves the light on for you is only attracting moths and other flying critters of the night. In some motels the only nightlife are those flying critters that somehow have access to my motel room.

Along about the fifth night in a motel room, a terrible thought took hostage of the mind I had left. I was sleeping on a bed that had been slept on by at least a billion people. The thought gave me the willies, which is as close to Mr. Nelson as I have ever come.

Another thought that sent a wave of new willies through my head. One billion open mouths had drooled on the pillow I was resting my head on. The thought was so disgusting to me that I could not sleep. To me, the only clean motel is the one who burns the sheets and pillowcases every night. Resisting that temptation should qualify me for a Nobel peace prize.

The pillows were so old that when I did fall asleep I dreamed in Latin and not pig Latin, which I can easily understand. You would think being in such circumstances pig Latin would have been appropriate.

And then the shower. In one shower stall, I thought they had green soap but when I picked it up it turned out to be mold.

During my travel, I began to appreciate a verse of Scripture. "These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth" (Hebrews 11:13 KJV).

The best this world offers greatly pales when I think of my eternal destination.

The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.com.