Getting off the plane and mapping the trail to my hometown in the mountains, my California husband remarked, "Your parents parked you all in the absolute middle of nowhere, didn't he? ... I mean look at that map ... few people know such places exist!!"
One of his favorite stories to tell is of his first visit to my home not long before we were married. He'd met some family, but not the whole shabang in one sitting. The four lane freeway of Atlanta was do-able. Not a far cry from CA. It turned to two lane highway for a spell. Then came single lane road, hours later entering and exiting my quiet town. Twisty curves out the other side, narrowed to more treacherous drops and soon paved road changed to dirt.
At this point he tells listeners, "From Atlanta to town, I was thinking, 'What if her family doesn't like me?' ... Hours later as dirt roads closed in by dense trees, a guy couldn't help but wonder, 'What if her family doesn't like me AND they decided to kill me and bury me deep in the back woods?!"
I'll be the first to say ... that's always a risk.
That's his story of our beginnings but my own came rich with southern color. I was a teen itching to leave and let life begin. Little did I know that sleepy though this town may seem, there's a whole lotta living done right here and a tale to tell around every curve and densely treed dirt road. This place holds some of the best of times, the likes rarely seen since and I catch myself hoping that my own children can live a life so fully enriched.
I think every father taught his daughter to drive a stick shift on town hill.
Religion is an integral part of small southern towns. Billboard reminders on one end.
And Jesus on the other ... just in case you forgot.
Big hills of kudzu and bigger trucks.