Thursday, April 26, 2012
Back in the fifties once you got off Route 66 in the Ozark hills you were on roads that were either dirt or gravel. They could have two lanes or, in some places, one lane. You drove through areas of Oak and Walnut trees, meadows, and farmers fields. In July and August the corn could be 8 feet tall and it was planted close to the road in many of those fields. In the early morning or late in the afternoon you could see wildlife in the meadows, fields, or up in the trees.
The summer after I turned 16 my parents gave me and my younger sister permission to drive out to the country to visit our grandparents and other relatives. I got some time off from work and we hit the road for the big adventure. We got off Route 66 at Stoney Dell and headed for Grandpa's farm. After spending a day or two with them we drove about 20 miles over to Great Uncle Nig's farm. After visiting with them we headed home. Driving down the one lane road I went around a curve and suddenly ran out of road. The creek had washed out the concrete slab that served as a bridge and I was buried up to my front axle in gravel. My sister freaked out and after I calmed her down I waded the creek and walked up to the nearby farmers house. He knew Nig and was happy to drive his tractor down to pull us through the shallow creek and sent us on our way. We got home safely.
What does driving country roads have in common with working towards a healthy lifestyle? Pick the right road and it will get you where you're going. Unlike an Interstate you better control your speed of you're off in a ditch very quickly. Push your body too hard and you will find your own ditch. Sometimes, on that dirt road, you have to slow down or stop because something that gets in your way. Just wait a minute and that cow will cross the road. In our journey you find that life can get in the way of doing what you need to do so you wait until that crisis clears out of your path. Sometimes you run into something like that creek and you need help to get back on the journey. Take the leap of faith and speak up. Someone will help you get on your way.
If you never drove those roads you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. It was a different day and a different time but there's still good people around willing to give a helping hand. I'll bet you've run into a few of them.
Enjoy the ride,