Betty Jo’s beautiful road

Posted on October 29, 2011


Betty Jo Hudson has had to give up driving, an adventure that she described in a guest post a couple of years ago.  She has not, of course, had to give up riding, and off she goes on her rounds, doing pretty much everything she used to do before the pesky vision problems.  Some of her rounds take her to Elk Rapids, and for some of these I am her driver, which is a great pleasure.  While I drive, Betty Jo is busy with her voice-managed phone, or telling me stories about the weekend’s entertainment, or petting the Cowboy.  (She has spoiled him completely and now I must leave the Duo at home or there will be no living with him.)

I have learned that there are all kinds of special glasses that make the most of limited vision in a theatre setting.  Betty Jo says it is best to sit in the back or up in the balcony for stage performances, as she captures the full panorama that way.  She loves movies and volunteers for the Traverse City Film Festival.   She teaches an exercise class at the Senior Center at Sacred Heart, making sure that everyone reaches.  (It’s not what you can, she says, but how you can.)  She sees all the blues in Torch Lake outside her window.  She sees Photos by Babs on her lovely large monitor.  She sees all kinds of things that I miss.  This particular spot just off US 31, for example.  It has become Betty Jo’s Road.

She spotted it early in October and said Oh!  What a pretty road!  Naturally we had to turn around and go back to explore.  It turned out the road was really a private drive, so we just stayed out at the highway and admired the trees.  As the season progressed, the view changed.  Each time we headed north she watched for her road, and prepared to enjoy it again.  October is fleeting, which is possibly why we love it so much.  We had a week of dull days, and considered the possibility that the Big Show was over for this  year.  Then came the encore.  All week there have been gifts of sunny moments and blazing color.

Roads can grow rocky, and roads can grow weary.  Troubles can ride your shoulders like a tattered old shawl.  But here’s the thing.  You never know what riches lie ahead.  It’s good to keep your heart open for the arrival of unexpected mercies.  And that is what I have learned while Driving Miss Betty Jo.