Ramble On: Adopt a Highway

By Clark Brenisholtz | April 25, 2017

Once upon a time, my wife invited me to come hang out with her on a Saturday morning, for a work thing. Early, I should add. Very early.

Now, I come from a lineage of flawed individuals who apparently harbored a deep rooted hatred of sleep. You may have someone in your family who acts similarly. That relative or loved one who has their Asics laced up, and is pounding out the miles under a pre-dawn sky, on pavement still damp from the night air. My grandfather was that type. He almost seemed angry at the Sun for not rising earlier. He had things to get done. He couldn’t be bothered by something so trivial as sleep. Sleep was, at best, a sign of weakness. To him, sleep was a filthy habit to be dropped cold turkey, like smoking.

Sadly, my wife seems to hold my grandfather’s view toward sleep. I pity her, and others who have not learned that sleep, especially the late sleep that one experiences on a Saturday morning, is euphoric. It is like tasting the richest cream skimmed from the top of the freshest milk imaginable.

That said, my wife is my heart, so when she asked that I join her roadside on a crisp Saturday morning, I obliged.

The ACHD has a roadside cleanup program named Adopt-a-Highway. Hawkins Companies volunteers have been gloving up and cleaning up, the highways around our beloved city for three years. It’s a worthwhile cause that requires a minimal contribution of time and labor to achieve a valuable result.

So, there I was, (Sun just coming up) clad in reflective vest and trash bag in hand, collecting the casually discarded waste along our designated stretch of road. And, I must admit, it felt good. Well, it felt good to look back and see the completed result of our group effort. I felt a small swell of pride for using my time to a productive end, instead of turning a blind eye, and driving on. Further, I was proud to be a part of a group of volunteers who never once complained about the task at hand. I was pleased to have my contribution acknowledged, but more satisfied to be a part of something more. Something simple, but necessary.

I did not get to sleep in on that Saturday morning, but I did share a lot of laughs and a sense of accomplishment with a fantastic group of people, and that was reward enough. I encourage you to reach out to the ACHD Adopt-a-Highway program, and adopt your own section of highway, as Hawkins Companies has. It takes a small group of people a very short time to make a massive positive effect.