Have you ever had a day when things keep going astonishingly wrong, hour after hour as the day ticks by, and you wonder what kind of bad karma you’ve projected to create such a day?

And have you ever had a day when things just click into place, hour after hour, and you wonder what you’ve done to deserve such a day?

Earlier this week I had a simple day of driving through the state of Michigan, and it totally rocked.

Starting just north of the Canadian border, I crossed the International Bridge and headed through Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the famous Mackinac Bridge. As I pulled up to the toll booth, I was ready to apologize to the operator for not having correct change when she said, “The driver in front of you paid your fare.” I was shocked and asked, “Why would they do that?” and the toll booth operator shrugged her shoulders and said, “It’s an act of random kindness. And the driver asked you to drive safely and have a good trip.”

This small and generous gesture had its intended effect:  my heart completely swelled and I felt like all was right with the world.

An hour later I headed toward Traverse City to attend a reading of the fantastic memoir I had just read (Bootstrapper, by Mardi Jo Link, a Michigan writer). I was running late and kicking myself for not getting an earlier start. This part of the drive follows along the shores of Lake Michigan and is postcard gorgeous. But since I was afraid of being late for the event, I barreled along at top speed past the pottery shop, the cherry orchards, the farm stands, and the wineries where I usually love to stop.

As I reached the venue, I resigned myself to the fact that I would be walking in 15 minutes late. However, I quickly learned that the event schedule had changed, and now I was an hour early. I had time to enjoy lunch in a spot overlooking the entire bay before returning to the venue. The reading was lots of fun, the author was just as kindhearted and smart as she appeared in her book. and I had a great chat with her.

As I left Traverse City and bumbled along a country highway through farmland and forest and canoe bases and small towns, I wished that I had had a chance to pick up some produce and wine from the region. Far further downstate I stopped at a gas station with a big store featuring lots of things to do with guns, hunting, beer drinking and…. a lovely selection of wines from the Traverse City region. I happily chose a few while waiting for the freshly brewed coffee that the clerk had put on just as I walked in.

Further down the road I came upon the most picturesque farmer’s market I had ever seen, and I gathered up peaches, plums, apples, giant cauliflower, oblong tomatoes, multihued peppers, and candy onions, After paying for these and loading up the car, I headed on the last stretch to Chicago.

Perhaps I’m easy to please, but this long day of driving down the length of this Great Lakes state, tuning into local radio stations along the way, felt charmed and beautiful and very much like a very good day.

Advertisements