Country Roads

Sing along here:  Take me back, country roads.  Okay, so I’m not exactly John Denver either.  But I DID get a huge bump on the head yesterday.  And today I am still sore all over.  Tried counting the bruises but ran out of fingers and toes.

Old wagon on country road, 2000 Back in my days of taking “picturesque” photos, I couldn’t resist this scene.  An old wagon on an old country road.  I was actually lost at the time, but had my camera with me, so why not make the most of it.  I get lost a lot.

MaxMax was my “guide” dog when I went out driving.  He died about 6 years ago, and I quit driving soon after that.  I was forever driving past my apartment building.  The tallest building in town, and I would completely miss it until Max would bark.  At least he knew the way home.

But this is supposed to be about the country roads I remember.  From the time I was about 3 or 4, we lived on Highway 81, a very narrow country road.  It was paved, but we lived in a curve and I remember a lot of wrecks happening there.  People would miss the curve and end up wrapped around the telephone post, or sometimes in our front yard.  There were coal trucks on that road.  Strip mines not too far away from our house.

Most of the Blandford family lived on that road at one time.  Just before I married and moved away they renamed the place “Friendly Village”.  Sometimes when some people ask me where I grew up I tell them “In Friendly Village, before it got friendly”.  I love watching jaws drop.

Every Sunday, after Mass, we would spend the day at a classmate’s home.  That was always fun, and very educational for us.  We saw what the other families ate, some so different from what we usually ate.  They played different games, lived in different locations.  It was so much more enjoyable than the same old thing at home each week.

Several of my cousins lived in the same area, and during the week, especially in summer, we would ride our bikes to visit each other.  One bike ride still stands out in my mind.  Diane had been visiting me, and I was taking her home.  As usual, she was riding on the handlebars, and a car came up behind us.  I decided to swerve into the other lane to let the car pass, just as it swerved to pass.  My mom heard the screeching brakes, but I didn’t hear her screaming at me to come home.  I just went on my way to Diane’s house, and we both went in for a fortifying glass of lemonade before I went home.  Bad move.  Mom was waiting on the front porch.  My mind goes blank at this point, which is probably a good thing.

Old dirt road Sometimes on Sundays, dad would pile us all in the car and take us driving through the strip mining area.  It has all been developed now into recreational areas, but at that time, we enjoyed such views you can’t imagine.  This was before we knew the damage strip mining was doing to the land.  There aren’t very many dirt roads left in this part of Kentucky now.  I miss them.

A.

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