As I pondered this challenge, one thing kept coming to mind: Road Trips.
Road trips were a constant, a given, in my childhood. Whether it was to load up and take a trip from Waycross, GA or Jacksonville, FL all the way to see family in northern Alabama, or to hop in the car early one Saturday morning to chase a train (steam locomotive), or to meander all across the southeastern US, a great deal of my childhood was spent in the car. The trips from Jacksonville to Gadsden took for-ev-er (ten hours in reality), but on the same token, we could spend ten hours one Saturday chasing a train.
I knew how to get from Gadsden to Waycross before I even realized it. Case in point: I got sent back to my parents with a great aunt and uncle once in their RV. To this day, I still don't remember the trip. When they reached a certain point where they were supposed to turn off on some particular exit. My uncle didn't know exactly which way to go, but I did. I told him which way he needed to go and, lo and behold, I was right.
I've seen every single mile of I-75 in Georgia too many times to count. Oh, to have a dollar for every time I've seen the Adcock Pecans sign in Tifton. I knew we were close to Waycross once I saw Adcock Pecans. There's also the fighter jet on a stand near Warner Robins. Then you get down south of Tifton and it gets really flat, and the trees grow in perfect rows and the Spanish moss drips from the boughs of the trees. After you cross over into Florida, you go across the Suwannee River, complete with a little sign at the bridge with the musical notes to the familiar Stephen Foster song.
Yes, I spent many, many hours in the car during my childhood. I've counted phone poles, watched the power lines droop between poles, looked out the window at tar-paper shacks with a rusted tin roof and wondered what was inside. Thinking about it makes me nostalgic and wish that we weren't so rushed and always Needing Something To Do all the time.
Take a moment and think about your own childhood. I hope there are some happy memories buried somewhere for you.