I took a road trip last weekend. On the way home I wound my way through Paducah, Kentucky. Paducah is home to the most beautiful rest stop in America. A former plantation house has been restored to its architectural glory and now offers hospitality to all travelers at the junction of several highways in the western section of the state of Kentucky. I have always thought that any town that provides such a lavish welcome must be an extra special place. Since I had no one along to protest the detour, I meandered through town and was not disappointed.
Paducah is an All-American city featuring so many characteristics that illustrate what is good about my country.
It sits at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers with the Mississippi very close by. Being a High Plains girl, I am fascinated by river cities and fell in love with the river wall displaying panoramas representing the area.
I love an American Main Street where buildings of various styles and purposes stand shoulder to shoulder.
Where architecture and details give unique personality to individual cities.
Where the structures stand the test of time and remind us of our history and of an economy before Walmart did all it could to wipe away Mom and Pop and their regional favorites.
Where individuality is expressed and enhances the whole. Where there are gentle reminders that this nation has been a nation of immigrants since its founding.
Where we are free to believe as we do and speak as we wish.
Where we celebrate our strength along side our neighbor, not at our neighbor's expense.
Where hard work is its own reward, and at the end of a long day it does us good to come together and laugh, or even cry in response to some sort of art or entertainment that moves us as one. Because at the end of the day, there is still so much more we share in common than things that separate us.