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

-- Robert Frost

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

On the Southern battle front

I'd just finished a retelling of the time I got my car locked in the recreation park.  It was 2 a.m. and I was left with no choice other than to climb the fence and hike to the local Waffle House to beg our police chief and primary key holder, to let my car out.  No added punishment needed as I suppose, he figured my momma would skin my alive at that time of night.

The good natured laughter around the table, is at my expense.

"How many police officers are in town?" comes a question from the only non-native coincidentally married to me.

"You want to know how many officers? ...  I'll tell you how many... " comes the reply.  It's followed by a tale to really knock one over.  Of cheaters and anger and personal justice.  Of ball bats and police intervention and mysterious disappearance.

Concluding, "And that's how many officers there are in this here town."

I wish I could bottle up her gumption and sell it to women everywhere.  That's priceless stuff, a southern woman's determination to never take life's kicks laying down.

We're staying at a local Bed and Breakfast.  The spooky kind only seen in movies.  It's quietly settled into the hill and our wild imaginations envision creaky floor board haunts.  We're easily entertained and self spooking is high on the list of amusements.

Morning brings the traditional breakfast held around a common dining room table.  There, we meet a father/daughter pair from the thick of Louisiana.  His tales of a lifetime barge running up and down the Mississippi are compelling and he's experiencing his first vacation in 70 years.  They're hard working folks.  The kind who've worked with their hands all their lives.

Again, I'm impressed by the sheer will of the people to survive, never giving in without a fight. Working to pay for a life that they own.  It's a stark contrast to so many working to pay for a life that they don't.

This place tucked neatly into a corner of the Blue Ridge can really change a person, build a character, add a perspective, or strengthen a resolve.

Yes ... for a brief moment, we consider if two shady characters toting opaque garbage bags on an empty mountain road, are in fact ... up to no good.

Yes ...  we follow signs to a "free museum" resulting in a broken shack and our dampened desire to observe whatever might be shown.

Yes ... we U-turn in the yard of a headstone carver whose shed brimming with wares screams, "Your lucky to be alive".

And ... we wrapped it up neatly with a little possum/raccoon rental car roadkill of our own.

But when it's all said and done ... there's fire and fight alive and well in the South.  There's still a battle waiting to be won if only in the day to day throes of living.  And come hell or high water ... they'll fight it and win.

1 comment:

  1. sounds like a fun and beautiful adventure. I love that last shot!!