Today, I did the usual routine as I normally carry out every Sunday. After a wonderful night and morning with my three sons, I took them home and returned to vacuum my floors and wash my dishes. I warmed spaghetti from last nights supper and ate lunch. Then came 1 o’clock. I grabbed my four potted plants that I have in my home (two of which, are plants from when two of my sons were born, four and eight years ago) and sat them in my backyard so they could soak up the sunshine as I took my keys and locked my front door behind me. After a quick stop to grab my RC Cola, I was off!
My destination, one corner of Lawrence County I have never traveled to in the 32 years of my life thus far! I traveled down, what we call in Lawrence County, Sumner Blacktop until I reached the county line. I turned off the black top and began my journey into the unknown! I was almost immediately met by a spectacular creek that was exploding with spring, as everything growing along it was filled with greens and pinks and yellows. Such a pleasant way to start this trek!
This day was marked by one dusty gravel road after another! I only traveled on one single black top road today (not counting the Sumner Blacktop). To say the very least, my dark black tires quickly became as gray as the vehicle they carried around! I noticed that in the past, so many fences were built with so much pride and patience. Their were so many older fences standing in one area only to find some more modern fences down the road near complete ruins. I reckon that is a tribute to craftsmanship and attention to detail and quality. Rustic was a word I thought about as I went through this afternoon!
I came to a realization today, one that I had not previously taken into consideration! A few short years ago, Lawrence County implemented a new road blueprint that was laid out to coincide with the new E911 system that had been put into place. With this new blueprint, every road in this ‘foreign’ corner had been marked. Every county road, cow path and long driveway was clearly marked by a large green and white sign! This made my driving more selective, as I continuously was on the lookout for concern of turning up someones personal drive!
This day was also one of the more foul-smelling ones, than that of any that have come before it! For the southern most corner of Lawrence County, Illinois is turkey farm country! Being that I absolutely love Thanksgiving Day, the turkey is one (if not the top) of the poultry I enjoy the most. However, the smell that was traveling from the home of these special day birds was not one of great enjoyment! My hat is truly off to those who earn their means by way of this branch of farming!
Coming back to the issue of pride and the time in which it made such a lasting impact, I pulled off of the Sumner Blacktop and immediately saw a miniture sign on the front of a small concrete wall that crossed over the top of a culvert that I had never noticed before. I stopped my SUV and climbed out for a more thorough inspection. What I was looking at was a brass plaque that had been placed into the form as the concrete was poured to make the small wall. The fact that such time was taken to mark this tiny accomplishment brought a smile to my face. The moment that humbled me? Well, that came when I read the date 1938 on the plaque! Standing before me was a small piece of craftsmanship that had been poured five years before the birth of my grandfather! To that very feet, I tip my hat to those gentlemen who took such time on something so easily forgotten about today.
As the daylight dwindled, and my gas tank was suggesting I make for a service station, I drove my dusty SUV back into the nearest town of Sumner, Illinois and gave him a drink and reflected on how the more we think things change, they, in reality, change much slower than we see at 55! If you want to see the same old things in a different way, take it down to 10 m.p.h! I wager that you will be pleasantly surprised! Live the time given with passion!