Thursday, March 01, 2007

Country Road




I saw this picture on the blog of a new blogger friend: Carmi. He’s a person of many talents, as you should see for yourself when you visit him at www.writteninc.blogspot.com. I like to go there just to see what else he’s been up to. He’s given me permission to use this picture for this story. Thanks Carmi!

This picture brought back so many memories for me. One memory is of music. I can just hear my brother’s 8 track playing John Denver’s “Country road, take me home.” It played over and over again, so that song is permanently etched in my memory. I’ll probably be in an old folk’s home some day, staring blankly at the tv set in front of me, telling invisible people to shut up so I can sing along with that song.

The best memory, though, is of the road leading to Mamaw’s house. We lived in Southern California and Mamaw and Papa lived in East Texas. Needless to say, it was a long two day’s drive away. We would go to church on Sunday night with the car already packed, then leave as soon as the services were over. Dad would drive all night and into the next day, stopping to get coffee along the way which was strange in itself because he called it “liquid sin” any other time. This was before seatbelt laws, and during those hot evenings driving through the desert, I would sleep underneath the back window in order to feel the cool glass against my arms and face.

We would stop at a hotel in El Paso, swim in the pool until we were exhausted, wake up and eat breakfast at Denny’s or Howard Johnson’s, then head out again. CB’s were big in those days, and dad’s “Handle” was “Country Parson.” We would join a convoy with other truckers, always on the lookout for “Smokies” because we were not going the speed limit any longer. Occasionally we would be graced with a beautiful lightening storm, and I again would take advantage of lying under the back window. I watched nature’s fireworks create a brilliant light show, with electricity shooting through the night sky, creating tree branches of light.

At the end of the second day, though, we were exhausted. We bombarded my dad with “Are we there yet’s” and “how much longer’s.” Finally, though, we hit the country road: tree lined with bright yellow stripes leading the way. We forgot about being tired. We knew what was at the end of that road: hugs (lot’s of them), family, crawdad fishing, lawn-mower and go-cart rides, dominoes, catfish and hush puppies, swimming in the lake…

Funny the memories that can come from a picture.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

You little stinker. You brought tears to my eyes again. Those were wonderful, dear memories and I miss them!! And you too! Thanks for reminding me. I'm sending your blog to Steve. I know he will enjoy it.

Around the world and back!
Mom

Anonymous said...

LOVE the picture. Tell your friend thanks!!

Mom

Carmi said...

Hi Stacy. Your entry reminds me why I take pictures: because an image can bring back powerful memories from long ago, and it can make us feel that much richer and more fulfilled in the process.

I love how you've written about your memories, and look forward to more vignettes like this in future.

If ever I have a photo that evokes similar thoughts, please don't be shy. This particular photo came from the first serious shoot I had with my then-brand-new camera. I was shooting quickly because I was alone in the middle of a country road. But as soon as I saw this one on the screen, I knew I had THE picture. Sometimes, you just know when you've brought magic home.

Here's to more...

Trey said...

Stacy, This reminded me of coming down to Florida to see Gramps in Land o' Lakes. When we turned onto hwy. 41 you could hear the tires clacking on the rough road. Doesn't matter what we were doing, even if we were asleep, we knew we were almost to Gramps house. Tim should remember this.