"Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."

-- Robert Frost

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tiny towns and tales to tell

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!!"

It's true.

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.



  1. My favorite story of your house happened to Cindy once when she visited. It was late and dark and she was leaving to go back to her parents house. This was BCP (before cell phones) and she made a wrong turn. She drove a while with Cindy Lynn in the car, maybe Jason too, can' remember that part. Finally she decided she was not getting closer to town and pulled into a driveway to turn around. When she got back to your house your dad said something like, "Honey, your lucky to be alive, they shoot strangers back there."

    My first memories of your home was my first visit and Emily had to have been 3 or 4. She thought Cindy Lynn should be her doll. Still makes me chuckle.


  2. That monster truck picture is my hands down favorite! The darned thing is 1/3 as big as the whole "house". You need to crop that think and post it on facebook!!!!

  3. Yeah...good memories. Before that trip to visit you guys I thought cell phones were stupid. After that trip I decided I'd never travel without one again! And I believe your dad told me that people made 'shine up there in the mountains, and that's why they might shoot me. And I'm pretty sure the dirt road I turned around on was called something like "Ma Hog Waller Lane."

    So how was your house? I'm assuming you did a drive by...was it changed a lot?