Highway 61, dirty laundry pit stops & breakfast for lunch

Autumn seems to always point me North.
The days get shorter and the nights get colder.
Highway 61 continues to grab my hand, pulling me off the highway and through the small quaint Minnesota towns.
Somewhere there is an imaginary line where the prairie magically turns to pine. 
I left the deciduous forest of home to soak up peak season of the Arrowhead region of the Northeast.

 On the way I had some dirty laundry staring at me from the backseat, so of course I stopped to clean it.


 Moose Lake. A small laundromat sat in the midst of the downtown construction. Population just scratching the surface of a few thousand. The owner sat quietly behind the dimly lit front desk, dodging eye contact and any surface level conversation that might proceed. 
I ignored his avoidance and asked him for ten dollars worth of quarters. 
His manner was calm, his choice of music was spot on. 
The Rolling Stones singing from the tiled ceiling....

Why do you hide your love, they asked. 

I had a few choices of chairs.
I picked the dark olive one with a square yellow cushioned back.
The washer shook as each cycle passed. 
Lost and found socks pegged to the community board along with missing dog posters and help wanted ads.


What does any of this matter you might wonder?????

I've been feeling a little 'distracted' lately, as if I were racing for some unannounced destination. A common theme that continues to resurface as often as the seasons change.

Duluth was where I was heading, though a pit stop was completely necessary. Your parents always tell you that the older you get the faster it flies, this life never slows down. And though that adage holds a hint of truth, how much do we affect the pace?

A few years back I vouched to strictly stick to the back roads and though I find myself on the dirt trail, I'm still flying at 65 or 70..... WHY DO I FEEL SO RUSHED?? Where in heavens am I trying to get to and why on earth do I feel the need to do it as quickly as possible? 

It's as if everything is pushing me onward
& all I want is to slow down.

Thus, the laundromat is where I found myself. I was engulfed in the setting.
People coming and going and with each ding of the door I was pulled back to my seat. 
So often I find myself high in the clouds, my mind racing and pacing, oscillating back and forth. back. and. forth. The same stories and ideas and beliefs and judgements and worries consuming my energy until I am completely depleted and unaware of the world around me. 
DING. Here I am. Back in my seat. 

I hopped in my car and before leaving town found an all-day diner to enjoy a short stack heaping with butter and maple syrup.

I could have turned my back, but instead I decided to face the booth housing an older man sipping on his milk shake.

'Dessert before dinner'

he snickered. Not another word was spoken. 

Feeling fluffy as the pancakes that heavily filled my belly, I paid my tab and moseyed on. 

A shore shell sitting in the center council along with a driftwood dream catcher hanging from the rearview. Back to the back roads I go, this time inching my way north. Stopping for anything that caught my eye; county parks, a forest of pruned pines and the lake surrounded with tamaracks....

Life doesn't have to merely pass.