517 Magazine Days of Giveaways

Making Pitstops with a Purpose

Do you know what the best thing about an “unplanned” road stop is? Everything! Remember when you were a kid and you could not wait to get…

Do you know what the best thing about an “unplanned” road stop is? Everything! Remember when you were a kid and you could not wait to get wherever you were going? The minutes seemed to drag on for hours – but you are an adult now, and you must make time to “saunter” the open road. Here are a few of my must-stops:


Anytime you see a garage sale

If you are not a garage sale lover, I urge you to change your mind. I once stopped for five minutes at a local yard sale and snagged a stepstool made from the original wooden seats at Michigan State University for $10. It turned out to be one of the best gifts I ever gave my husband. 


A quick stop to see an old friend

Everyone says you need to call first, and I get it, but how about texting to say you are in the neighborhood and stopping by. You may be surprised how much your friend will appreciate it – just make sure everyone is dressed. You would not want to show up when Uncle Harold is about to take his annual nude dive in the pool (a true story).


A bakery

The rule for bakery stops is this: If there is a line or lots of cars, stop. If there is no line and no cars, still stop. There is nothing like a fresh doughnut or a good piece of pie, particularly if it is apple or cherry season. And a bad doughnut? Well, there is no such thing. Remind yourself that you could be at work. 


A roadside stand

Treasures await you at a roadside stand: fresh-picked veggies of any kind, in-season and with the dirt still on them. And when washing it, think about all the people who made this beautiful food possible. I always stop at a not-so-secret stand in Empire, Michigan, for the best homemade jam I have ever tasted; and the family trusts me to put the correct amount of cash in the lockbox before leaving – the trust makes the jam taste even better. 


A field of sunflowers

Never, ever pass a field of sunflowers without getting out and getting in it. It is a sin, in my book, to ignore sunflowers. They are not only beautiful, but they know when they are being ignored. If you don’t believe me, just Google “sunflowers.” Did you know sunflowers turn toward the sun whenever it is shining? And when the sun isn’t out, they turn toward one another to share and receive energy and light from one another.

So next time, don’t forget to kill some time. We could learn a lot from sunflowers.



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