It’s odd how our thoughts sometime bounce back and forth from present to past, from old to new, and all things in between, isn’t it? There’s also nothing like a drive, especially a sad one, to resurrect memories long forgotten.
For me, the occasion was the burial of an old friend’s husband and a winding country road. My thoughts in the days preceding the death had been on a recent discussion about ways to promote Dublin and the fact that we have the perfect “Mayberry” setting to entice visitors to our town. My mind on this day was on my friend and her loss.
And then, almost before I realized what had happened, that cemetery road reached out and took my hand, almost seeming to guide me down a very, very long path, one that led straight into yesteryear.
As I traveled that narrow path, I so wished that I could just continue on a short piece, turn down that sandy lane lined with pecan trees to my grandparent’s old farm, and find once again my grandmother frying a chicken and my grandpa smoking his pipe and sitting in his rocker.
I could leave the world behind in the porch swing. Through the open window my grandpa would remind me not to go too high, “It scares the dogs and you’ll hit the banister.”
We might pick a mess of peas later, and then when it was cooler, sit on the front porch for shelling. My grandpa would walk down to the lot and throw the hulls over the fence for the cows. Nothing was wasted.
As these memories swirled around me I could almost see my grandmother stepping out the back door to tell us the cornbread was out of oven and to come in and butter a piece while it was hot. Oh, for another slice of that ambrosia that was a staple of both dinner and supper at their house!
Later, my brother and I could have a Chinaberry fight or run with the dogs through the creek bed.
Yes, my journey into the past reminds me that Dublin does indeed have that Mayberry feel; it is a town that is capable of unleashing hundreds of lost memories–just what people are looking to recapture!
As my daddy used to say, “You’ve got a bird’s nest on the ground.”