Writing has become therapeutic. When something annoying begins to happen, I think There’s potential for a story in this and the more annoying it gets the better the story. Such was our drive into The Land Flowing With Milk and Honey this afternoon.
The roads between Smallville and The Land Flowing With Milk and Honey are twisting, bumpy and covered with deer carcasses this time of year. The people who travel to and from Smallville are the retired type. Why drive slow when you can drive slower? is the town motto. Most of the time I get lucky because I drive on the back country roads with just butterflies and dragonflies for company. But today it was me and the butterflies and dragonflies and one faded red pickup. The pickup was in the lead and my Suburban trailed behind. Closely.
There is really no good place to pass on these narrow country lanes so we went twenty, forty, twenty, forty for ten miles. I noticed many things during those ten miles. The pickup windows were rolled down to allow elbows to poke out. The driver wore a straw hat and a blue shirt with green letters. The passenger seat held another geezer sporting another straw hat. Driver and passenger talked and gestured and once in a while the driver glanced at the road. Mile after mile, I absorbed these little details until we came to a fork in the road. Finally! I could go left or right and still reach my destination. The pickup faded to the right. I went left with pent up speed.
Houses and mailboxes blurred by for a quarter of a mile. It was glorious. Suddenly, just around a curve, I came upon another pickup driven by another elderly gentleman wearing, you guessed it, another straw hat. He was, of course, driving twenty, forty, twenty, forty. I was delighted. I was living in a story and began to tell the children the end for I saw it very clearly in my mind. “Watch this guys. In a minute we’re going to turn right. When we get to the place where that other road comes out, the faded red pickup is going to pull right out in front of the white pickup.”
“No way, Mama! I’ll bet you a hundred dollars.”
The minutes ticked by. Twenty, forty, twenty, forty. We came over the top of the hill and down below we all could see the faded red pickup. He pulled out, slowly, slowly in front of the white pickup and made a wide right turn using the right lane and the left lane and the right lane again. I was beside myself. There was cheering and high fiving. I wonder what the guy in the white pickup thought of the celebratory spirit in the Suburban trailing in his wake. Maybe I scared him because a few minutes later he pulled over to the side of the road. Maybe he needed a nap. It's twenty-five whole minutes between Smallville and The Land Flowing with Milk and Honey.
“Hey, Mom. Do I have to pay you a hundred dollars?”
“No, buddy. You don’t have to pay. It’s just so awesome to be right and besides I have a blog for tomorrow.”
And here it is.