Saturday, May 02, 2009
a peek into my childhood
Friday afternoon was the normal getting off work and heading home at the usual 3:30p.m.
When I got onto Taylor Road just about to turn onto my street I kept driving... and driving. I decided I would take a small detour-out Vaughn Road, right onto Ray Thorington, right onto Pike, right onto the road that takes you to the Troy Hwy., right again on Taylor, then home. You know sometimes when you are driving with the windows down it just comes over you to DRIVE? So that is what I did... the wind and sunshine were just perfect and the tunes were perfect too.
Also, and I know I am not alone on this one, I love the smell of pastures and cow manure. It reminds me of being a child but also of God's open spaces... the places that still look the way He made them. What you may not know about me is that half of my childhood, and some of my college years weekends, were spend at my dad's house which was in Snowden, Alabama on several acres of cow pastures or in their "new house" in Pike Road, Alabama. The Snowden days took being a child "playing outside" to a whole different level. In town, at my mom's house, we played outside running through neighbors yards, jumping in and out of swimming pools, riding bikes on pavement, and never really being out of any adult's sight. In Snowden, we ran around barefoot - knowing we would "get stuck by a mock-orange branch," we waded in ponds, we built our own "forts" - until Dad built us a tree house!!! (which was really like a deer stand in the middle of our tree less back yard but still AMAZING), we threw rocks at the old mossy trees hoping to disturb the gigantic salamanders, and we grew tired of riding our bikes because there was no pavement and because the gravel was too hard, the hills too numerous. So instead, we took turns pulling the others (me and my two brothers) in the red wagon. When it was your turn to pull you were miserable but riding was so fun. I have a very vivid memory of being 8 or 9 and sitting at the edge of the barbed wire fence and watching an old cow stomp her back leg and chomp grass. I remember being absolutely amazed at how much grass she could rip up with one bite and how LOUD she chewed... the thick drool hanging from her bottom rubbery lip. And, I also remember how dark it was at night. This is a true story: my little brother came to me one night and said he had to show me something he was afraid of. We climb up on his bed and he told me there was a secret big black road that only came out at night... we peeked out of his bedroom window and I saw what he was talking about... indeed a huge black "road" stretched out into the backyard... as black as black could be. We pondered and at some point I realized it was only the shadow of our big house being cast onto the yard by the full moon overhead. Of course, I let him believe it was a secret road.
These are the kinds of memories I have and crave when I go driving around "in the country" because back then, anything North of St. James school was "the country."