Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tag Tuesday - Summer; And a Story: DIRT ROADS

The theme for Tag Tuesday is Summer, and although I made this card sometime ago, it is very relevant!

(click for detail)

If you want to know what I used, or to join in on the challenge, please go to Blog Challenge Garden.

23rd in the Tuesday Story Series

When I was a child, my parents had a frequent Sunday afternoon ritual of taking the family for a drive. Six children would pile into the car and off we would go, usually with no planned destination in mind, just whatever struck my Dad's fancy. Often the drives would take us to one of the many sea islands around Charleston. At that time, most of the islands were farmland and since my father was the County Extension Agent for the Charleston County area, he knew all of the farmers. Because his job took him to their farms for various reason, he also knew all of the back roads which wound around the islands. It would be those back roads we traveled the most often, and they were usually unpaved and unpopulated.

In that part of the south, live oaks with swaying Spanish moss are a large part of the local landscape. Spanish moss, which is actually not a moss at all but related to the pineapple plant, makes everything romantic in the daylight hours, and somewhat eerie or spooky at night if you weren't used to it. We would follow the winding dirt roads and see majestic live oaks, open fields of crops and palmetto trees by tidal creeks. If the tide was out, there would be little fiddler crabs scurrying across the mud banks as our car drew near, waving their one large claw in the air as if that would scare us away. Sometimes we would startle a deer as we came around a curve and it would leap off into the woods, or we'd see a hawk on a tree limb scanning the countryside for its next meal.

There were places where we would spy an old cabin across a field, leaning to one side, long abandoned and empty. In some spots, there would only be a chimney of brick standing as a lone sentinel, guarding the space where a home had burnt down. We would pass grazing cattle, and Dad would tell us what kind they were, or he would identify the crops in a field. We would seldom pass another automobile. 


Once in a while on a straight stretch of road, Dad would let one of the older children sit in his lap and steer the car. Of course he would be driving very slowly and had his hands hovering right above the child's hands. I remember the thrill of "driving" the car and even though it was for a very short distance, it felt like at least a mile to a young child! Often at the end of the drive, we stopped at a Dairy Queen for a treat, especially during the summer time. 

I always felt a sense of adventure every time we turned onto a dirt road, and the feeling has never left. I still love dirt roads and back roads and the expectation of discovery. Although I am not able to go for a drive as frequently, when we do, I always look for the beckoning back roads!

Enjoy the day!


1 comment:

  1. Amen for the back roads! I think Pop instilled a love for them in most of us and I love to see what is down around the curve! I love your stories that take us back in time! Sunday afternoon drives were such a special time in many ways!

    Your tag is lovely and I want that watermelon right now, juicy and cold!! Reminds me of backyard seed spitting contests too!
    Love you!!!


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