Sunday, November 21, 2010


Since I moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio in my twenties, and then to Michigan the fall before I turned 30, I still make a point of going "home" on a regular basis. Sometimes when I was still single I rode the bus, but since I've married and had kids it's been a driving visit. The quickest route (though not the cheapest or most scenic) is to head south on I-94/I-75 and then head east on the Ohio Turnpike. If you've never driven on the Turnpike, let me explain that on the entrance ramp you are issued a ticket stamped with the time and date, and the point of entry. When you exit this ticket is used to determine your toll, based (roughly) on the distance you have driven.

Many, even perhaps most, people get on at one city in Ohio and exit at another. But since my destination is Pennsylvania, my experience is different, since the Ohio Turnpike feeds directly into the Pennsylvania Turnpike (with similar toll policies). I don't take an exit, I merely pass through a toll plaza. (LOTR fans will appreciate that it's called Eastgate.) Then, for a distance of about 5 miles, I am in what my kids dubbed "no man's land." I've paid my Ohio toll (but I'm still in Ohio), I haven't yet hit the Pennsylvania toll plaza or even the state line, but there is literally nowhere to go but straight ahead, since there are no exits in this stretch. ("We cannot get out!") But since my destination lies a number of hours ahead in Pennsylvania, I don't want to exit. I keep going, cross the state line, stop at the Pennsylvania plaza, and eventually finish my trip.

All this is by way of introduction to the real point of this post, my feelings during this next week. Today we "pass" Christ the King Sunday, the endpoint of the liturgical year. Advent, the start of a new year,doesn't begin until next Sunday. So I often feel adrift in a calendar no-man's-land. True, there is Thanksgiving to celebrate, but it's not a liturgical holiday. (Black Friday, the secular celebration of consumption, is something I avoid if at all possible.) But there are no exits from the expressway of life in this world, so all I really need to do is "stay on the road", keep passing landmarks, and eventually I will get to my final goal!

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

Oh, I always get so excited for Advent! I like this week for the fact that there's a gap. It's sort of like daily Mass versus Sunday Mass for me. Daily Mass, being shorter, just causes me to anticipate Sunday Mass all the more. This week I just get excited. :o)