Oh, the freedom, the fresh air, the wind in my hair (actually, not true, I don’t have much hair left!) and the excitement of the open road.

No more sheltering in place.

We broke free and took a road trip to Ohio to visit our daughter and her family.

Why drive the twelve hours, you say?

I couldn’t bear the thought of wearing a mask the whole time while in the airport and on the plane.

There were great summer days ahead and I wanted to enjoy every minute of freedom on the open road.

When it came to meals during travel, our choices were which restaurant drive though we wanted to use, since all the lobbies were closed.

Hotels were overall a pleasant experience, but breakfasts were handed to you and then had to be taken back to our rooms to be eaten.

It wasn’t the best way to eat breakfast, but it sure beat eating another meal in our vehicle.

I understand why some people chose to wear a face mask and why others chose not, but why do some wear a face mask while driving their car…when they’re the only person in the car?

And while I’m asking, why do we stand six feet apart from the person in front of us in a checkout line, but alongside the person in the checkout line adjacent to us?

Someone decided to design a face mask with a hole in it to fit a straw for drinking, yet someone else came up with a mask that opens the mouth area with a remote cable for eating.

Don’t those holes defeat the purpose of a mask?

Thankfully, I didn’t see any of those on our trip, they were freaky enough to see on TV.

On the positive side, it was great to be able to worship once again in person here in Oklahoma, though the technology to bring us together digitally for worship over the past few months was impressive.

We were able to tune into live worship services in other parts of the country, but now being together for worship is special.

Even more special is to be able to visit our parents in assisted living facilities, albeit with masks and proper distancing, but it still beats connecting with just a phone.

For those seniors, it has been particularly rough, as one senior put it “I never thought I would experience anything as bad as not being able to see or be with my family, it is so depressing.”

The summer is looking better here in Delaware County as more and more people are able to get out, feel the sunshine on their face and the breeze blowing around them.

Still, other states are stuck at home with a lot businesses closed, churches only meeting digitally and people wondering when they can get out to enjoy their summer, maybe even get a haircut or coloring.

Americans cherish their freedom and relish the possibilities of traveling where they want, when they want.

You can feel the restlessness across the country as people are ready to take in a movie, go to church, eat out, just plain loaf outside without a face mask or be able to hug those you love.

It is time to get our nation back to normal.

As Moses once said to the Pharaoh “Let my people go…they want to go for a walk.” (I added that last part, sorry.)

Rick G. Thielen lives in Grove, Oklahoma and enjoys sharing observations and ruminations on life around him.