Thursday, August 28, 2008


This is another shot of a soybean field down the Glebe. I put up a sister picture the other day which was taken from a slightly different angle. This one shows an old dirt road.

Wanna know how I can tell it's an old road? When you can say "I'm going out to cut the driveway now," meaning you have to cut the grass in the center of the driveway, you are officially (a) in the country (b) in a bad dream (c) in a hallucination or (d) in the country and wishing it was a hallucination or a bad dream.

I have to cut the grass in my driveway. Not grass as in the center of the driveway like the picture above. No, my driveway is loaded with weeds that have managed to eke their way through the Driveway Habitat Which Ought to be Highly Non-Conducive to Grass Growth since it is paved. But not at Chesapeake Bay Woman's house. The weeds growing in her paved driveway grow as high as palm trees in the Pacific Rim.

It isn't enough that I spend the better part of my waking hours from March through October on a tractor going around in mindless circles in my yard, talking to myself because I think nobody notices when I'm on a tractor, just like when y'all sing in the shower. At least I don't sing in the shower.

Speaking of driveways and old roads, and lanes (I know, we haven't mentioned lanes yet, but we're about to), but having nothing to do with grass-cutting or weeds, let me tell you a story about a lane and a little girl. And a mother. And an accident. And a...HERE'S THE STORY.

Many moons ago, when buses would drop young children off with no regard to whether the parents were in the Continental U.S. or in South America on extended vacation, I was dropped off at the end of my lane, whether my mother was there to pick me up or not. She never was. And that was not a problem. There was no expectation that anyone other than this would ever be greeting you at the bus stop: (EMPTY SPACE. FOLLOWED BY MORE EMPTY SPACE. FOLLOWED BY CRICKETS CHIRPING. Followed by cackling laughter.)

I was expected to walk the half mile from Route 198 to my house on a daily basis, which really was not a problem. Ordinarily.

This particular day I had needed to do something since well before I left school. (Where "do something" is pee. Sorry, folks. Chesapeake Bay Children? You've certainly heard it before. Just don't use it at the dinner table. And go clean your room. Thanks.)

I held it the long bus ride home. Once off the bus, I trotted stiffly down the lane with my chin held high, back arched a bit, lips pursed in only the slightest hint of discomfort. My brows were furrowed. I was on a mission, but I was going to make it.

Once I got down the lane, I proceeded to expeditiously bear right into the driveway and spun up a few pieces of gravel in the process. I gained speed down the driveway and screeched to a stop at the back step, dust flyin'. With flames at my heels, I galloped up the steps to the door and, legs crossed, I reached for the door knob.

And this, the one time I really needed to get into the house, was the day my mother decided she was going to lock the door. I grabbed the knob. It didn't budge. I pounded on the door. There was no answer. I screamed at the top of my lungs. I pounded some more. Still trapped outside.

I pounded, and I pounded. I hollered. I twisted my right ankle completely around my left leg like a vine. Twice.

There were no keys. To this day I don't even know where the keys are to this house But never mind keys, because, in fact, my mother WAS INSIDE THE HOUSE.

Did I mention it was cold that day? Did I say the wind was whipping and I was in severe discomfort? Did I mention people probably heard my screams up and down the creek and the lane, but my mother, who was sitting right inside the house, couldn't hear a thing?

Here's how I remember how cold it was. And it goes as follows:

Because my mother left me to fend for myself walking down two hundred miles of barren lane, when I had to use the facilities since well before I left school, which at the time was 20 minutes away, I managed to make it to the back doorstep and, after my dear Mumma did not come to the door, in spite of repeated pounding, steam started to rise. From the ground as well as my ears.

The End.


Grandma J said...

The end? What about your mom? I'm worried unless she locked the door for a reason, like you know, privacy. I mean maybe your dad was home too. Ok, I'm not going there...I need more coffee and sleep.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

My mother opened the door up just in time to witness the steam rising. Who knows what she was doing in there. Probably watching the Price is Right or the Edge of Darkness. Or Secret Storm.

Anonymous said...

My grandma's lane featured a wooden bridge over a stream, and it was kinda like the doorbell that announced a visitor was coming. You could hear the clack-clack-clack of the planks from the kitchen.

My husband was talking the other day about having to walk half a mile out to the main road to catch his schoolbus. My house was on the main road and we were conveniently picked up right at our front door... unless Nila the bus driver couldn't see us as she rolled up, in which case she would keep on rollin' and we were SOL.

Mental P Mama said...

LOL. Secret Storm. The exact thing happened to me. Only I was in the basement, and it involved our utility sink. I have never told anyone this. But I guess I just did. Remember Dark Shadows? Oh, the memories...

Big Hair Envy said...

She was definitely watching "Price is Right"...with all of those bells dinging, she couldn't hear a thing! hahahahaha!

I thought that being able to use the "outside facilities" was one of the perks of country life. Am I wrong?

Bear Naked said...

Thanks CBW-Wonderful mental picture I will now have in my brain for the weekend.

Bear((( )))

foolery said...

Sorry, I would've dropped my drawers right there and hoped for a steamer. Would serve the host family right.

No I wouldn't. But it sure felt good to say it. I'm hungry. And sleep-deprived.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

This very event was the turning point in how I viewed the outdoors. I was very young, though, so it never occurred to me before.

Now, I wouldn't think twice.