Excursion 2, Part 3 (The Mystery Vase)

In which our intrepid hero discovers an intriguing and mysterious urn…

When some people drive alone for a distance, they are able somehow to tune themselves out.  Perhaps they immerse themselves in music from the radio, or CDs or MP3s.  Maybe they just focus on the road.  Sometimes I am able to do that, especially if I am weary, or if the traffic or weather is such that I really need to concentrate.  But all too often I am very conscious that I am with myself.  My thoughts roam far and wide.  This is a bad thing if you are depressed or if something unhappy just happened; your mind gets stuck in a loop and you endlessly replay conversations or are simply unable to get away from fears and anxieties.  But if you don’t have those monsters lurking inside you that day, your mind can instead be a “happy place,” where you can absorb and process what you see in a mindset of peace and serenity.  You can almost feel the dopamine kicking in when you get into such a contemplative, almost meditative mood.  When this happens, I find it more than relaxing; it is almost as if my cares are falling away from me as I speed down the road…

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Excursion 2, Part 2 (“Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?”)

In which our intrepid hero visits a graveyard of an unusual sort…

One of the most interesting things about driving in a rural area is that many people treat their property—their land, their front yard, or even their porch—as their own personal junkyard.  Junked cars, old refrigerators, broken furniture—you name it, you can probably find it alongside the road somewhere.   Most of this junk is fairly predictable, but every now and then something will surprise you…

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