Monday, August 13, 2012

#MemoryLane Mondays~ Country Roads, Take Me Home...

To the place that I belong...
Saturday afternoon, after I fixed homemade pizza while my husband mowed the lawn, we ate lunch and then headed out to go do a little shopping at the Mennonite Grocery not far from where we live. They have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables but also local honey and sorghum, homemade jams and jellies, cookies and breads and fudge.

I only needed tomatoes (don't even get me started on how awful store-bought ones taste to me- garbage, blech!) but we were having tacos and burritos later this week and well, I just don't trust the tomatoes I buy at the store anymore and saw no reason to waste money on something that tastes bad or is rotten and then have to throw it away.

I'd shop from our Mennonite grocer more often if I could just convince hubby it's worth the extra trip to get the fresh produce every week. In the mean time, I'll make do with what I can get, but I enjoy the chance to shop local and definitely feel confident in buying from the Mennonite community.

As soon as we stepped out the front door, a wave of nostalgia swept over me. Gone was the stifling heat and humidity we've grown accustom to this summer. In it's place was the smell of fresh cut grass, reminding me of watermelon and childhood summers in the country.

The sky even seemed bluer than it's been in, gosh, I don't even remember. I felt like I could breath beneath that pristine blue and the bright white fluffy clouds that drifted by overhead. Grass seemed greener and the air felt clean as it hit my lungs. It wasn't heavy or stuffy anymore. And I didn't feel heavy or stuffy either.

We rode to town to get cash, the windows down. I stuck my arm out the window, enjoying the cool in the air, the blast of it against my skin, swirling my hair around my shoulders and rejuvenating my soul. I haven't felt that good, that free, in months and I can feel the shifting of seasonal things. It's not visible yet- no leaves changing color, but there is an undercurrent of change surrounding us and I love that I know this.
When we arrived at the Triple G, there was a clicking gear-grinding sound and my husband says, "Check out the horse." Between their store and the storage barn they have you could see behind the building that they had a horse on some sort of conveyor, walking and turning the gears for something. We didn't ask, but I'm sure it was for powering something they needed for running the small store, perhaps water to a well or something.

I got my tomatoes and hubby got a seedless watermelon and some homemade chocolate chip cookies and my daughter got a small plate of peanut butter fudge. As we left, hubby asked if we needed to be in a hurry to get back to the house and I told him no. He said we'd take the long scenic route home, so we just drove around in the country and he showed us places he knows in his hometown.

This is a rare treat as we usually don't go out and just ride around. When I was a kid growing up, summer Saturday nights were often spent riding around the countryside with my grandpa and uncle, just to get out of the house. I waved at people sitting on their front porches, who were strangers to me, but who seemed to know my grandpa and uncle well.
This is the imagery that shivered to the surface of my recollection as we drove through the countryside. The sky seemed as blue as I remember from my childhood, bluer even, the clouds so soft and white I wanted to touch them, pull them down and use them for pillows for a lazy summer afternoon nap. As we traveled deeper into the twisty byways of Kentucky hills and dales, passing along on narrow tree-lined shady lanes with cool air winding in through the windows and around us, through golden splotches of sunlight dappling the gray asphalt, the nostalgia morphed into melancholy and tears visited my eyes, though I didn't shed any.

I took a deep breath, the cloying aroma of newly baled hay and cut tobacco filtered through and awoke memories long buried, but not forgotten. An army of tall corn stalks stood as weary sentinels around a sharp curving lane, bidding us safe passage into the back roads, the hidden treasures of old dilapidated houses and barns, of cows resting beneath shade trees and horses grazing nearby fence lines. I saw my first ever black and white spotted mule and wished my grandpa were still around to see it and share in that wonder with me. I'm not sure if it was a painted or a palomino or what, but I've never seen anything like it in my life.

We rambled along, zipping around corners, the wind like cool hair combed through my fingertips as we headed south. We passed our turn off, ending up cruising along, taking in the beautiful homes and fence-lined pastures in Tennessee before we circled back around and crossed the state line and bounced up the hill toward home... It was truly a lovely afternoon outing and one I hope we repeat. Maybe next time I'll take my camera and snap pictures to share (as the ones shared today are just from our drive back from Franklin, KY last month.)
Treasure the moments and remember the memories.

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