I’ve made a lot of trips between here and Hillsboro across the Sunset Highway the past two months. Okay, let’s get more specific—let’s say I’ve made one back-and-forth trip every week for the past 10 weeks. That’s 20 trips over the Coast Range, so I’ve had the pleasure of watching the seasons change, in slow motion, from summer to autumn.

My “car time,” most often without the radio on, and with cell reception so spotty I don’t even bother with it, has allowed me some incredible “think time” surrounded by some truly awesome scenery.

Lately, the leaves have been so bright and colorful that I’ve been inspired to call out “Nice job, God!” on quite a few occasions. I’ve stopped at numerous wide spots in the road just to breathe in the clean, crisp air and stretch my legs. Sometimes I just stand there with a silly grin, immersing myself in the moment.

Life is all about enjoying the journey. Despite a crapload of troubles this year, I am glad I can still find bliss among nature. The mountains, the beach, even in my own back yard, I pause often to appreciate all that is still good, and embrace past memories.

Which naturally brings my thoughts around to Mom. I’m missing her something fierce these sunny autumn days. She also loved the fall the best—the bright colors of leaves always made her happy. Maybe I got that from her; I sure like to think so.