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visited 15 states (30%)
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Of course, been all over TEXAS.

California is sitting all lonesome because I flew both times I’ve been there. It was the hubster who got to take the Sunset Limited across the country to L. A. and then drive down to San Diego by himself. Sigh!

Been to Oklahoma several times over the course of livin’, either to Turner Falls, going across Lake Texoma, even once to Ardmore to visit a friend’s family.

Louisiana hosted my church group for a couple of retreats. Almost went to the World’s Fair in New Orleans the year we married, and really REALLY wish we HAD after all (ran out of money, alas.)

The first “across” path is from our family trip to Washington, D. C. the summer I turned seven. My dad was delivering a bid for his company. We drove across the country in our white 1964 Dodge Dart station wagon. What I remember most vividly is that we went into Tennessee to Chattanooga and then up Lookout Mountain and ended up at Ruby Falls and THE GREAT ROCK CITY GARDENS. If I could go back to Rock City, I’d do that in a New York Minute. In fact, I would buy it just to live there. I think part of my fear of sloping floors and heights relates back to our trip up the Incline Railway, too. Man, that’s a gorgeous view of seven states from the lookout point. Anyway, I also remember Washington a little bit, but mostly my frustration that they wouldn’t let me climb up in the Lincoln Memorial to have my photo taken sitting on President Lincoln’s lap. Santa never minded!

The north-then-east path took us to the other states shown during our train trip on the Texas Eagle to Chicago and then across to New York City via the Lake Shore Express. We may not have seen as much of those in-between states, but we’ve been there.

Wonder if we also went through New Jersey? To get to NYC, I mean. We entered Penn Station and we came through some sort of tunnel or across a bridge. . . .

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Author: shalanna

Shalanna: rhymes with "Madonna" and "I wanna," and is not a soundalike with "Hosanna" or "Sha-Na-Na." Aging hippie with long hair, husband, elderly mother, and yappy Pomeranian. I've been writing since I could hold a crayon. I started with fiction, which Mama said was "lying." “Don’t tell stories,” she would admonish, in Southern vernacular. “That's all in your imagination!” When grownups said this, they were not approving. So, shamed, I stopped telling stories for a few years--rather, I stopped letting anyone read them. I'm married to a fellow computer nerd who doesn't really like hearing about writing, but who reads sf/fantasy and understands the creative drive. I'm actually a nonconformist/hippie still wearing bluejeans and drop earrings and the Alice-in-Wonderland hair with headbands and sandals. Favorite flavor is chocolate/orange, favorite color is either Dreamsicle orange (cantaloupe) or bubble-gum pink, favorite musical is either Bye Bye Birdie, Rocky Horror, or The Producers . . . wait, I also love The Music Man. Is this getting way too specific and irrelevant yet? Obvious why I don't sell a ton of flash fiction, isn't it? To define oneself, I always say, it is good to make a list. How about a booklist? Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird Frank and Ernestine Gilbreth, Cheaper by the Dozen C.S.Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (all the Narnia books) J.R.R.Tolkien,The Hobbit/LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy Gail Godwin, The Odd Woman F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye (before dismissing it, actually read it) George Orwell, 1984 Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle Donna Tartt, The Secret History Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn James Allen, As A Man Thinketh Mark Winegardner, Elvis Presley Boulevard James Thurber, My Life and Hard Times The Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum Winnie-the-Pooh/House at Pooh Corner, A. A. Milne Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie The KJV and NIV Bible (each translation has its glories)

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