Country Roads

article image

There are some things that are just wonderful to have or use and a paved highway is one. I can say that because I grew up in the country and only saw a paved street when I went to town – and even though some of those “city” streets weren’t the most desirable, but at least they had a smooth surface that prevented dust from billowing into the house every time a car went by.

Actually, dust is one of the nuisances of country roads. When we were kids, some drivers would “fly” down the road leaving us in a cloud of dust. Sometimes, we would run into the ditch and up the embankment trying to prevent ourselves from being “baptized” in dust. It helped a little but not much.

We kids were always walking up and down the road. Seems like that was one of our favorite past-times. I thoroughly enjoyed our treks, except when a vehicle rolled by.

When it rained, the road was one long slushy trail with car tires so muddy, all you could see was a wheel that looked like a large, brown doughnut. I felt sorry for our school teachers (who lived up town). Those ladies had to drive that dusty summer or muddy winter road to come and teach their poor charges to read and write. But those women were more than faithful. They just seemed to take the ride in stride. I don’t guess it would have mattered to fret over it, because there was nothing they could do about it.

The muddy, wet roads made traveling time so slow creepy-crawly like, but then again, back then, people were not in such much of a hurry like they are today. Driving on unpaved country roads certainly teach patience, which I never had much of and never drove on the unpaved road that ran past our house.

Then, lo and behold, one time I was home. We started down the Patmos Highway, and guess what? They had paved it. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Now, it’s a really nice thoroughfare. We had moved from that area by then but were visiting my uncle and aunt who still lived up the road from our old house. I was grown, and even though my parents had moved closer to town, we still lived on an unpaved road. It appeared much better than the old highway as the dirt seemed to be much more compact and the cars didn’t generate so much dust, but there was still some dust as dust and country roads go hand-in-hand.

Then, what would you know? I went home one year and someone told me they were getting ready to pave our “street.” I almost jumped for joy. When I went back a few years later, the road was paved. What a delightful treat. It has been over fifteen years since they paved our highway. The nicest part about it is that when cars go by, there is never a trace of clouds of dirt. The yard, house, cars and everything in sight remain nice and clean.

The transition made us feel like city folks but the woods reminded us that we were still country.