The many communities
of my hometown area remind me of Hattie Maxwell's double chocolate, pecan fudge
cake. There's not a piece of it I don't enjoy.
you listen with your eyes, a drive through our county quickly tells its own story.
Around one curve and then another, are a scattering of small houses and barns.
And if you had a liking, you'd just pull off the road and reach across the fence
to make friends with local livestock.
it's a welcome you want, just nod your head at a passing vehicle. A friendly wave,
especially to a stranger, is as natural to us as standing for the national anthem.
while the façade of the corner store might be changed by modernization, chances
are the folks inside haven't been. My guess is they're still telling tales about
how rich they'd be if they'd only bought the land where McDonalds now stands.
My favorite ritual in our county, though, is giving directions to visitors and
guests. None of us really know the name of streets or roads, we just know that
there are usually two ways to get anywhere.
First, there's the way I'd go, and second, is the route whoever is standing next
to me would take. They're seldom the same, but there's a very good chance both
methods would involve an array of landmarks that include gas stations, beauty
shops, grocery stores and, most definitely, churches. (We'll never send you past
Walmart, though. Traffic is way too congested and complicated for newcomers).
my favorite part of this procedure, is the approach we take when finalizing our
instructions. It's almost always concluded with, "If you get to 'such-in-such',
you've gone too far."
morning, I enjoyed as many turns of our county roads as time would permit. I slowed
to watch pasture after pasture of cattle slurping up that grassland like it was
fine chocolate. I waved, nodded and smiled at strangers who aren't, and lingered
in the memories that crowded my mind.
as I turned and headed north towards the city, it dawned on me. If asked for directions
for the county line…that place that defines the simplicity of life and the goodness
of our people…I'd have to say, "If you get to the Boxcar Willie Overpass, you've
gone too far."
©2001 Jeanne Moseley
About the Author