Travel can be far more fascinating when you stop more often. Case in point: Barbara's doctor who did the knee replacement, advised her to stop every 90 minutes to walk and stretch because she is still recuperating. We didn't actually keep a perfect schedule, but we did stop within two hours of the last rest, and it made for some interesting experiences.
Sometimes 90 minutes pass and there are no appropriate places to get out and stretch. The other day in Texas, for example, the wind was whipping us at gale force (or nearly). The car was dancing on the highway, and the only "rest" stops along the interstate were picnic areas. We tried one, but I wouldn't let her get out of the car for fear she would be blown over. The alternative was to pick the next town and drive in to find someplace.
That place was a town called "Groom" Texas. The population was something a little less than 600 people. Not all roads were fully paved, but what appeared to be main street was. It made Barbara remember "Bridgewater, SD" the town she escaped following her high school graduation. There is a special charm to a small town that can only be found there. The friendliness of the people is so un-contrived and winsome. While there may also be a special terror in such a small town, it is of no concern to the brief visitor. The young teen who was laying out rugs from the market and sweeping them, greeted us like we could have been favorite relatives.
As we slowly struggled our way up the block and back to the car (remember our purpose was to walk and stretch), a balding middle aged proprietor came out of the local emporium, greeted us, and offered us the calendar his business distributes. He knew we were new in town (in a town that size everyone knows everyone who belongs there), and I'm not sure but what he wanted to check us out to be sure we were not there for some nefarious reason. But he too was so neighborly that we were overwhelmed with the gesture.
I'm so glad to have the calendar because I do not want to soon forget this little piece of small town pleasantness, and I can be reminded all next year whenever I look at this calendar.