yin yang by ~kristuzhe
yin yang by ~kristuzhe

I had to drive to Albany to meet with the State of New York folks. The two hour drive each way provides ample time to enjoy the scenery and reflect. For the mathematically inclined, I have an important once in a lifetime date to celebrate on November 16th, 2009. On that day, I will have lived the first half of my life in Armenia, and the second half in America (not counting minor temporary absences) where I arrived on Henry Ford’s 130th birthday. The more time I spend in America, the less I want to go anywhere else. Strange… The more I live in Massachusetts, the less I want to travel to other states. Crossing the border on I-90 to New York seemed like I had entered a different country for some reason.

But I enjoy the ride on I-90 West. It brings back memories of my childhood when we would pretend we were heroes from the The Last of the Mohicans, a story that was what Star Wars is to my son. I feel bad that our children do not have a chance of experiencing a childhood similar to mine but maybe that’s what every parent thinks. The trees, the road, the scenery bring back thoughts of times past when people had to actually survive the harsh winters in these areas without the conveniences of today. How did they manage to do it? Life seems so hard at times yet the early settlers managed to live and with each generation make this country a better place. Then the mind wanders… how many people had to work to build a road like the I-90? How about all the roads in this country? Smooth and flawless, straight, with clear signs they stretch from coast to coast, from state to state. I drive some more and notice houses not too far from the highway. How do these people live? Where do they work? I drive some more and notice the McDonalds plaza. Didn’t I just pass one? Then I start to notice the NPR static, time to find the NY station. Ah.. I forgot that Marketplace is on in the morning here. Gloomy news about the economy, or no wait, it’s good news, no wait… Ah.. forget it.

Every time I drive on a long stretch of highway, I remember my mother. She once mentioned to me how much she liked going on long rides. The only long ride I can remember with her was the trip to New York City. What a wonderful time we had…

I am back now. The meetings went well. Next week I will spend a day and a half flying to Canada to speak for 20 minutes. How does that make any ecological sense?

With 10.2% unemployment, I better go drum up some business. Even if a few folks are hired as a result, maybe it’ll have been worth the effort.


  1. LD:
    An enjoyable post.

    City people use the term “Upstate New York” for any town north of The Bronx. However, to genuine Upstaters (such as myself), Upstate New York only begins at I-90. (We also tend to be Red Sox fans.)

    The Last of the Mohicans is set at Fort William Henry — on the shores of Lake George….60 miles north of I-90. Definitely Upstate territory!

    You ponder how did Upstaters survive before there was a McDonalds at every Thruway rest stop? The answer: Howard Johnsons.

    Bringing all of these seemingly random thoughts together, it turns out that the Lake George Howard Johnson’s (at the nexis of Fenimore Cooper’s novel) is closing forever. see:

  2. Rocky: I hope one day we can go to the Lake George area for vacation instead of somehow always ending up in New Hampshire. I have to say I cannot remember the last time I went to a Howard Johnsons. 🙂

  3. legacy,

    This popped up in my head:

    “The holy grail is to spend less time making the picture than it takes people to look at it.”
    -Paul Cezanne

    Of course, we cant always be seeking after holy grails in our work and business affairs. And sadly, unlike the master Cezanne, our work usually entails far longer time, than that required for its perusal/appreciation/dismissal…

    Hope you have a good time with the good folk of Canada beyond your 20mins; and maybe, tread lightly ?
    Just to reduce your footprint, C or otherwise.


    [Your post above on long drives upcountry and memories of loved ones struck a deep chord.

    I am transported back into Dad’s sedan as we drive north upcountry on our yearly pilgrimage back to his hometown in north Johor, Malaysia. Setting off at sleepy 4am to beat the traffic, playing silly ‘scary’ games with the dark shadows that looms towards and zooms away with each passing street-lamp…but finding security in the comforting silhouettes of Mum and Dad in the front seats. Then, rolling the windows down and hanging my head out to watch the creepy but so beautiful dark figures of trees in the rubber and oil-palm plantations whizzing by, and smelling that acrid but immensely clarifying scent that is found only in the woods — of early-morning bracken, moss and dew. All these to the magical melody of Enya’s Orinoco Flow playing on the stereo (I insisted, they acquiesced).

    Apologies for my flight of fancy. But thank you.

  4. Don: Your comment reminded me of the times when we would go for long rides with our parents to my father’s village or to visit my mother’s family in Georgia. The trips seemed to take forever in those days but were adventures not to be forgotten. When we reached our destinations, we were always so tired but so happy to see grandparents, aunts and uncles, and our cousins.

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