Whither I GobyAzPilot©
I woke up early this morning and couldn't go back to sleep. I tried turning and tossing, but this didn't work. Next I tried tossing, then turning. Even with all that exercise, sleep was elusive if not forbidden.
As I laid there, my mind went to and fro, forth and back, Hither, Thither, and Yon. A fairly pleasant trip, all in all. Then I began to wonder. No, no, not wander, silly. Wonder. Most of us are all too familiar with to and fro, and while we misuse forth and back a lot, few think about Hither, Thither and Yon anymore. Are they incorporated towns or are they just small communities by the roadside? Can anyone describe them? I'm sure I've been there before, but I can't think of any feature to distinguish them from any other town. I do know that Yon has a lake near it because there's a song that says, "By Yon Bonny Banks...". I think the lake is named Loch Loman. Must have been found by some early Scottish immigrants. However, I have no idea how many people live there. I used to hear, and read, the expression often, "They went Hither, thither and Yon." It doesn't seem to occur much anymore.
Was their economy based on tourism? Have they fallen into decline, as many small communities have done these last few years? You know, where business drops, stores close, families leave and the settlement dwindles. That would be a shame if it happened to them. They were very popular years ago.
I'm not too sure of their location, either. I do know that wherever a person is, they seem to get to Hither first; so it must be closer. However, when you get to Hither and want to go on to Thither, do you go straight ahead, or take a turn? Right or left? Is Yon even in the same county? Is there a more direct route to Yon, allowing one to skip Hither and Thither if one has urgent business there? Freeways, today, have cut off many small towns, leaving them bypassed and neglected. Do you suppose that is what happened? Is that why you seldom hear anyone say that they are going to, "Hither, Thither and Yon," anymore?
Imagine my surprise when in the early part of December, in the Arizona Republic newspaper, I read an article where someone stated that some things were Hither and Yon. You have no idea how good that made me feel to know that the communities remained viable, if not prospering. I walked around with a warm glow for several days after reading that article. I did wonder, however, what about Thither? Was it still populated or had the last inhabitants pulled the proverbial plug and moved out? There was no mention of it at all in the article, so I had no idea.
One question in my mind was at least partially answered. Since the quotee mentioned Hither and Yon, without mentioning Thither, I therefore drew the fairly valid conclusion that there now exists a direct connection between the two communities that had not existed heretofore. I do not have any idea if it is a temporary bypass, or detour. As you can also conclude, as I have, since the only real affirmation of the two towns is that mention in the newspaper, the situation should be clarified.
I thought, planned, plotted and pondered. Personal exploration would solve my queries once and for all. I do have a small camping trailer in my side yard. I also have a mid-sized pickup, equipped to pull the trailer. Ergo, put the two together, fill the pickup with fuel, the trailer with food and water and strike out. An exploratory expedition, as it were. Yup, that's what I'll do.
I had been wanting something to do and this project would serve to keep me out of pool halls and off street corners for a while. As a widower, I live alone, much to the despair of a couple of my daughters. It's not enough that they have children of their own and even a grandchild, or two. Oh, no. Now, understand that I love them dearly but when you have a couple of middle aged, menopausal women trying to mother you, life sometimes sorta gets restrictive. I'm more the "free range" type of old bird and often rebel against the confines of mother-smothering, however good their intentions.
The perfect answer to my minor family problem, to my curiosity and to my need to get away for a while, is to take a trip. That voyage, for I am planning to embark upon a sea of doubt, will certainly get me out of the neighborhood, away from routine.
Now, how much to pack? Sure, I'll leave with the tank full of gas in the pickup and the tank in the trailer full of water, but how much food to take along? Will it be just a couple of hours or a couple of days? How many shirts and pants should I pack? Son of a gun, here I had hoped to just kinda hop in and go, but it may take more planning than I first thought.
Oh, one other thing; I need a map. I'm not sure which direction to head off when I leave. Let's see- is it east, west north or south? If north, that will take me up to the mountain area and higher altitudes so I should make sure I have some heavy blankets and a jacket or two. If the route is to the south, it will take me to the warmer desert, so short sleeved shirts would be better. Either east or west present few problems as there are few things in both directions except jackrabbits, mesquite and snowbirds for about two states. Doggone it, why can't this trip just be a "jump in and go" type of thing?
Well, first things first, as they say. Come to think of it, "they" say a lot of things, don't they? I digress once again. I looked up the address of a map store in the neighboring city and decided to go there for a good, detailed map of the area in order to find the location of my quest. The next morning, I drove to Maps Are Us and explained to the clerk what that I wanted a map, chart or plat that would show me how to get to Hither, Thither and Yon. I would even settle for the location of any one of them, thinking that once there, I could inquire the location of the others, providing I didn't find them on the way. Life is good when you have a plan.
However. The clerk couldn't find any of them on his index of cities, towns communities or villages; incorporated, unincorporated, inhabited or uninhabited. Oh my. My whole scheme, dream and plan was shot down. I do believe the newspaper quoted the gentleman correctly as newspapers never lie and always report the truth, at least as they see it. We even checked the indices for the surrounding states- to no avail. I do remember mentioning something on the order of "Bah Humbug", more or less, and leaving in a high dudgeon. It was a 2004 model, extended cab, six cylinder dudgeon that had a bit of alacrity within it and a trailer hitch on the back.
Ah well, I'm back where I started, wondering about the welfare of the fabled Hither, Thither and Yon. After all this, I think I'll take a nap and leave the search to a younger person who might have more energy to wonder and wander.
After a refreshing nap, the thought occurred that probably the community of Yon fostered the definition of far distance by contributing the word yon-der to our language, intimating far, far away. Perhaps the trouble with my search was limiting the scope to my immediate vicinity. Perhaps I should have thought globally. Australia to Ulan Bator, Antarctica to Yemen. Oh, the thought is mind boggling. Aquavit to Vodka, Aguardiente to Tecate. It's all making me thirsty trying to comprehend the travels that might be necessary to locate these fabled locales. I might be a while investigating the cause of that craving. If you are interested, contact me and I'll give you all the notes I have accumulated on the subject. Perhaps they might save you from making some false starts and allowing you to proceed more expeditiously. Hey, if it doesn't have at least three syllables, it's hardly even a word. But that's another story.
If you find it, or them, please let me know, I may go there. I could use a good vacation.