I just remembered a wonderful couple I met long ago at 9 PM at a rest stop while I was driving too hard across the country in an '83 Chevy utility van with just my cat for company and no destination. South along the west coast was the extent of my plans in the moment.

They appeared to be in their late 50s or maybe early 60s and were driving a school bus that been converted into an RV. They were looking at the rest stop map talking about which way the should go, apparently concerned about what the bus could handle.

I remember my first impression of the bearded gentleman was that he seemed a little bit jumpy, but otherwise worried me much less than the other characters around at the rest stop that night.

When I got done "freshening up", they were still at the map and we somehow started talking to each other. We all introduced ourselves and briefly talked about where we were going.

The gentleman then started telling me three or four different stories about himself more ore less at the same time. He jumped back and forth between these narratives, switching between them unpredictably (with the gentlewoman interjecting elements as well).

I enjoyed the challenge of keeping up with what I was being told. Although I can't remember the specifics of what all he told me now, I do remember he was some sort of materials scientist and there was a theme to his stories. He went on for a while. I was enjoying their company.


Eventually I said I needed to get going, we had been talking nearly an hour. But before I hit the road again, the gentlewoman went back to the bus and came back with half a loaf of freshly baked bread and gave it to me (she had found out I hadn't eaten anything since breakfast). Just as I was stepping back into my van, the gentleman waved at me and yelled across the rest stop from his bus emphasizing the theme from his stories, "Remember! Make time to have fun!" He meant in work and life.

I hit the road after that and drove a few more hours before sleeping at a different rest stop. I hope they figured out how to get where they were going, and I thank them again now for the gift of the bread, which nourished more than just my body and was sorely needed at the time.

Good night, all you wonderful people. See you soon. Remember! Make time to have fun!

(In work and life. If you can swing it. No pressure, of course.)

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