Again today the internet connection is being problematic. I guess I shouldn’t have been so easy with my praise of AT&T last week when asked about their dsl service. It almost makes me wonder if this isn’t my comeuppance for saying good things about the phone company.
Reading through the news and mail this morning I stumbled across the latest from Verlyn Klinkenborg
I realized that I was enjoying the slowness. I realized that I had somehow long ago thrown out the notion of a “scenic drive,” a drive just for the pleasure of seeing what you can see, at a pace that allows you to see it. Partly, that’s the fault of my own sense of urgency, but it’s also an instinct for sticking with the pace of traffic, refined by driving in New York and Los Angeles.
That was the beauty of this drive. I was the traffic. I was free to exaggerate the severity of the weather if I liked. It gave me an excuse to peer into the stands of lodgepole pine along the road, to look down into the purple willows along the creeks, to ponder the paradox of the signs pointing out rock formations — and stating their age in hundreds of millions of years — on a highway that must often be driven by people who believe this earth is only a few thousand years old.
That sense of urgency hits me regularly. It is the reason I often get off of the highways and hit the county roads through the farmland on my way home. It slows me down and opens my eyes to the world around me…But, sometimes it doesn’t work and I find myself flying in front of a cloud of dust down a lonely road with only a few houses and a bunch of cattle to witness the trip.
Back when I first started escaping this way on my way home from work, most of these roads were still gravel. In the last decade almost everyone of them has been paved. It won’t be long before you wont be able to find a gravel road in this part of the state. It looks like the end of another era. I started my first rock collection from the large pieces of gravel I broke open to see what was inside in the road in front of my grandparents house.
When I first moved away from home way back in my teens, I lived way back in the east Texas woods of Montgomery County close to the Walker County line just south of New Waverly. I had a job at the lumber mill in New Waverly where I worked from 5pm till 3am, four nights a week. Driving home at 3:30 am each night down those long unlit county roads was always a trip. But on the nights with a full moon…I would kill the lights in that old Chevy pickup and slowly drive home through the moonlight. Now that was the way to travel a backroad…
I guess I better wrap this up ’cause it’s hit or miss whether I’ll be able to publish…Later.