Road trips can often help keep you in touch and remind you of areas that you haven't given much thought. So on Labor Day weekend, my partner, Jason, and I planned such a trip.
Our first stop was to visit his parents in Annapolis. Among the lessons learned were how great it was to have a real home-cooked meal. Jason's mother is an incredible cook and made Jason and me realize how we really need to learn to cook. It also made us realize that neither one of us has the time to learn to cook. Can you say seconds and thirds?
We also realized that when you're sitting with people you care about and having long discussions about their lives, as well as your own, you let your guard down - and that is when you learn a lot.
Our next stop was Gettysburg. I'm an amateur American history buff and had never visited the site of the great battlefields before. What amazed me - and what is not recorded much in history - is that Lincoln spent the night before his Gettysburg Address in David Wills' house that overlooked the town square. Today, you can stand in the room where Lincoln slept (with most of the same furniture) and gaze out the window upon the street where Lincoln, hearing the crowd call for him, went down and delivered one of the most famous speeches in American history. There is also a video on equality that is incredibly emotional.
Our next stop was Lancaster for dinner at Millers restaurant. But on the way there, in the middle of what is considered redneck Pennsylvania, we found a farmers' market with an antiques shop. While we purchased a few items, the cashier, after hearing that we were from Philly, stated that it is in "the civilized part of the state."
One thing led to another and we discovered that the woman collects Rita Mae Brown books. There were other cashiers around so this conversation was said in whispers. It made me realize that this was as far as she could come to being out and how lucky many of us are to live in places where it is easy to be out.
I admire her bravery - and her actions told me how far we have to travel before the battle is won.