Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Straw-Hatted Geezers

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.


Wordquilter said...

Love this post! I enjoyed your description of the truck--the elbows sticking out the window. Ha! I'm glad you showed your kids how to take it all in stride instead of getting upset. Thanks for sharing this little adventure.

The Small Scribbler said...


Thanks so much for stopping by. I enjoy your company.


Faith @ The Great Adventure said...

LOL, I love it! I can so relate to your tales of life in the South. :)

ValleyGirl said...

Ah, you gotta love 'crop-checkers!' It gets especially bad around here right before harvest!

The Small Scribbler said...


You made me laugh! My dad is a crop checker. For real. He pulls over and gets out and checks the moisture content in the corn. We once took a cross country trip. When we got to Iowa, we stopped. A lot. Do you know how many corn fields there are in Iowa? I do. Thanks for the memories.


Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

That is so funny Kate!

The way you describe the fine details, makes me feel as if I'm there!

Sarah Markley said...

I guess I'm a city girl b/c I had to really think about what a crop checker is...I get it, truly. =). You live in my dream, I think.

Xandra said...

There's nothing like the feeling of being behind an old pickup going forty, twenty, forty, twenty.....unless it's the feeling of being behind a tractor going five, ten, five, ten!

LOL! This was a great post and I can totally understand where you were coming from. I often see situations from a "this is going to make a great post" or "this will make an awesome scrapbook page"!

lori said...

I laughed out loud..I keep telling my husband and kids that I want an old RED pick up truck..they think I am unlike time you are behind that guy...follow him and let me know if he's selling anytime soon!!:)
I laughed~
peace and open road!

Alana said...

I have to agree with Xandra. I remember a lot of Tractors going five, ten, five, ten growing up in the cornfields of Indiana.

Well, I didn't actually live in the cornfields, but they were all around me ;-)

The Small Scribbler said...


Or how about a tractor pulling a manure spreader?


Xandra said...

LOL! You can tell that we were raised in the country!!

Heather C said...

I don't know much about that part of the country, except that I'd probably never survive.

I suppose in New England we face the same kind of phenomenon, though, in the form of "leap peepers." Come October it's not unusual at all to see cars driving about 30mph on the highway. I can just imagine the conversation inside: "Ethel, Ethel! Look at the foliage!!" (said in my best New England accent, which is NOT that good... rofl)

Thanks for the picture you painted. Brought a smile to my lips and a chuckle to my heart. :)

Todd & Diana Simpson said...

that was such a great story. I laughed out loud! thanks for sharing! diana

Mary@notbefore7 said...

You are such a great story teller. I wish I was in the car with you all (thought I felt like I was). Your family just sound slike so much fun. Isnt' it great to just enjoy the daily humdrum of life that we are given?

Videogal said...

What a great story teller you are! I was totally drawn in and couldn't wait to see what happened at the end. You really DO live "out in the country" now, don't you? (smiles)