Do you ever look into the deep green shadows of a primeval forest and wonder what those secret depths hold? Do you like to write about your new and inventive discoveries while sipping a glass of fragrant wine? Do you enjoy the creative process? Then I hope you will stop a spell, enjoy the adventure, and travel with me as we imagine the possibilities...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

On the Road in Georgia

There are several things I experienced and learned from my weekend trip up middle Georgia. Besides the indescribable joy of reuniting with my Junior High School best-friend, Kathy, I have to mention the intense pride and gratefulness I felt seeing all the farmland. Cotton, corn, tomatoes, Vidalia onions, legumes, strange grasses, and what I think were sweet potatoes. Then there are the farm-stock – donkeys, goats, horses, cattle. There was one big bruiser of a bull who had his own pen. My red jeep was the only vehicle on the road. The bull-to-end-all-bulls turned his great head as I slowed down to 20 mph to get a good look at him. I did not stop. I heard somewhere that bulls don’t like red. This one was every bit as big as the Liberty I drove.

I do wish that the farmers would label their fields in big enough signs so motorists can read them: Tomatoes, onions, red beans, rice, sausage – you get the point. Very helpful for the ignorant traveler, i.e.: me.

Camouflage is a neutral color. I saw brown camouflage mid-calf pants worn with an expensive looking white knit sweater-set. The top was edged in crocheted lace. The woman was easily in her late 50s, early 60s, her long silvery-white hair pulled back in a black barrette, makeup applied exquisitely to her beautiful face. Another man wore his Real-tree with a red Cardinals t-shirt, another wore green Vietnam-style camo with a Pittsburg Steelers shirt. Did you know that Deseret storm camo goes with a pink tank top? I could go on and on, but the consensus is that camouflage, whether worn by men or women goes with everything.

Next observation: In Moorehaven I saw a car. One. Everyone else had a pick-up truck, Jeep, or some sort of 4-wheel drive. Outside the Moorehaven Country Store was a humongous deer strung up ready for butchering. A man proudly stood next to the deer with his bow and arrows front and center, chest pushed out, camera ready. Across the street the local feed store pronounced on a hand-lettered sign that bags of deer corn are available. Guess it worked.

In the middle of no-where, a house, front porch filled with rocking chairs, perched amidst rolling cotton fields. A good 100 yards from the house, five-feet from the road was a covered wood-plank stand with honey lined up in various amber hues, a sign read: Honey, honor system. Take your honey, leave money in box.

I passed a yard full of every imaginable kind of appliance in various forms of rusted and broken-down manner that could be found. The front yard was not visible. A sign painted in red with at least a four-inch brush proudly announced “broken appliances for sale: cheap.”

Some of the towns held their pride high with clean streets, washed store fronts, and old southern houses painted and beautiful. Others looked like they were going to erode back into the red clay and never be seen again. I felt really sad for the last ones – they are on the way out, and unless someone in those towns decides to take a hand and spruce them up, they’ll be swallowed back into the antediluvian forest and forgotten.

I stayed off the major highways – rode the streets less traveled, drumming my own way across Georgia, singing rather-off tune to whatever song my I-pod threw at me. The air was clean – no industrialization, no smoke from vast lines of cars. With the sun-roof back when it wasn’t raining, I could smell fresh-turned earth, scent green-growing things breaking free of the soil and reaching to the sky. Sometimes I knew when the cattle areas were nearing, but it was the clean scent of critters out in the fields, munching grass and lipping water from small ponds.

Rushing to go someplace leaves out so much of the pleasure. Getting there, to me, is at least half the fun, and hands-clenched-tight-on-Interstate-traffic-packed-roads is not my idea of fun. It is hard to imagine that I drove twelve hours since Friday night, and pulled into my driveway at 3:30pm on Sunday refreshed and ready to write.

Both Baggins and I had a lovely time: going, visiting, and coming home. Seems we also brought back a trunk full of inspiration. Thank you to the state of Georgia, thanks Nicole for planning such a fun party, and thank you, Kathy for being my friend and for being older than me.

Imagining the possibilities,


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