I enjoyed the drive from the lake to my mother’s house, a drive I had not made in years. Since college, I leave the lake driving in the opposite direction to Texas.
The trip is much, much faster now, the roads better and wider with turn lanes. Before, you could get stuck behind a rock hauler and spend half the drive going 30 mph, adding hours to the trip. Although portions of the drive were the same, some sections were unrecognizable. New highways dotted with Sonics and Exxons completely bypassed the Kreme Kastles of all the charming small towns. The cool bridge in Lake City has been totally rebuilt, with only a small section of the original structure remaining for historical purposes. My sister and I always held our breath driving over that bridge. Every bridge for that matter.
The memories flooded me. Things I haven’t seen or thought of in years.
I studied the trees, wondering which of the tallest ones watched us drive this route years ago. Years ago in Momma’s pale yellow Cadillac convertible loaded with kids and Samsonite suitcases and groceries and bright orange life jackets. One year the convertible top broke and we were forced to drive all the way home with the top down. Sunburned and windy it was miserable. And took forever.
Abruptly on the other side of Hardy, the hills disappear and miles and miles of farm land stretch from the road to the horizon on both sides. Rows and rows of cotton and soybeans. As a kid this was always a jolt to the heart, knowing the lake was far behind us.
This time the drive was different. I was happy to see farmland. The corn was tall and I was excited to see white and pink cotton blooms signaling cotton bolls tomorrow.
Another season. Another time. New memories.
Who Says You Can’t Go Home, Bon Jovi & Jennifer Nettles