Notes From Interstate 5


It poured rain all the way from San Jose to Los Angeles . . .

fields and traffic along Interstate 5, between Westley and Tracy, September 4, 2006

“It’s a good day for cows,” I say to my son, as we drive by a field of happy-looking bovines.

“It’s raining,” he points out.

“I don’t think cows mind a little rain. They get to eat lush, moist grass. Instead of dry grass. Do you like to eat a dry salad with no dressing? You don’t, right?” No answer. “I’m trying to think like a cow here.”


“My phone would go out right in the middle of a text message,” the boy says.

“That’s awful,” I say in mock sympathy.

“It is,” he says. “It was a thoughtful, heartfelt text message.”

“How thoughtful and heartfelt can a text message be? Aren’t you limited to 160 characters?”

“Not to Verizon numbers.”

“Oh. Well, that is disappointing then.”


We’re driving past an agricultural area with nothing but four- to five-foot sticks in the ground as far as the eye can see.

“What are they growing here?” he asks.

“Sticks,” I say. “It’s a stick farm.”


When I pass trucks on the highway, I always signal before pulling back in front of them.

Most people treat truck drivers and their vehicles just as obstacles to be bypassed. I treat them as real people with real feelings.

I think it makes life better for everyone . . .

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