Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Road Home

Hi all,

Gosh I am overwhelmed with all the lovely supportive encouraging comments. Thank you. You all are such a generous group of friends. I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

You can read the story about the blogstone (0) over at PPB's, if you wish to learn more about where the idea came from. Or perhaps you recall the movie Schindler's List, here is the detailed story-line; that at the end, they are visiting his grave? memorial? and leave a stone there with all the others left. What a meaningful idea.


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It is a long drive home for us to Fla. We were delayed through two cities with traffic and traffic accidents that made it longer. We spent the night in Dothan, AL. and I am so glad, I was the late night driver with my eyes beginning to close on me.

The next day we were on the road by about 8:30 or 9. Don't go there about why not earlier, just remember 3 children under the age 6, and Bob and me. As we crossed the FLA line and entered the land of "Sunshine", where a cold snap had laid claim to the air, we began to see those moss covered oaks. I noticed within me some feelings begin to stir. The thoughts crossed my mind, I am going home, this is familiar, I am a child again, and I miss my dad. We still had about 5 to 6 hours to go, but now it was okay with me. The scenary is familiar again, the lay of the land, flat with scrub brush, palm trees, palmettos, cows, pine trees, swamps; I almost home. At one point I can taste the sugarcane my Pop has handed me to chew on. Of course we can hear the familiar strains of "Are we there yet?"

I drove or rode on this road, HWY 19 going back and forth to college in Tallahassee. I drove and road this route from the days I lived in Bham. It has changed some, and yet has not. They call it the Nature Coast and it is. You won't see high rises, fancy hotels, white sand, and fancy cars here. Rather you see pickup trucks, 4 wheelers, old cars, even broken down junk cars. Old houses, some falling down, farm houses. But it is home to me. You also see big boats that are used, not just sitting pretty in the water. The livelyhood here comes from the land or the water, and sometimes both. It doesn't make for rich people. They truly are the salt of the earth people, and salt of the water too.

But what I love most is the tree covered highways with the moss hanging down, the blue skies, and the sunshine. Only it is cloudy these days. I can see my daddy driving the car, and hear his voice as he is talking about life. But he is not really with us, he is gone, but he is with me now. I am remembering all the drives home, and seeing him there, but he is not here now, but he is. I see that quirky smile on his face, hear his raspy voice, and feel his rough hands. I smell the pies and cakes he has baked and other goodies also, but he is not here, and neither are the pies and cakes. Mom doesn't do it like him.

And we are not really going home, the home I grew up in, no, mom has since sold the house and moved away. We aren't even going to the town I knew so well. Denise and mom have bought a nice home in a nice housing development in Hernando, about ten miles to the East of Crystal River. Is that to get away from the memory of Dad? Who knows. I miss coming home really. I miss my dad, and that home. I could go for long walks there. I could go into the woods there and meditate. I can't go for long walks here, there are no sidewalks, and you are more than likely to get run over, but I'll dare it anyway. I can go into the woods here though and meditate. And there are the similar trees with moss hanging down.

It is a long road home to my family home from Florence, AL. But it is a long road home to my real home that I long to go to one day. I wonder if it too has moss covered tress, scrub brush, palmettos, palm trees, the rivers running to the ocean, the swamp lands? I do know that my Daddy is there along with other family and friends, and I long so for that home with them. One day I will be there, but it is a long road home. And I wonder if it will have all the pies, cakes and goodies with those sweet smells? I bet it will.

12 comments:

the reverend mommy said...

Thank you for this today. We are in WVa -- but not at my husband's childhood home either, but a new house for my FIL's new relationship and marriage. It's a different, strange, new yet familiar world.

I give thanks for you. You brought tears to my eyes today.
(o)

Stacey said...

(o) Blessed Thanksgiving to you!

jean said...

Thanks for your comment and I return the compliment (0)

The Vicar of Hogsmeade said...

Happy Thanksgiving. As a single mom of two, I'm impressed that y'all left before noon.

Anonymous said...

Goin' home... yeah... I have those maranatha moments some days more than others...

As to getting the road by 9 with 3 kids under 6, I think you deserve a medal!

God bless-
Deb
and {hug} to make the bittersweet more sweet...

Cathy said...

What a beautiful post and though I live in this area you mention, it stirs memories of childhood and those with my dad.

You stayed in Dothan- 60 miles from here....

1-4 Grace said...

I bet it will too! Thanks for the lovely remberance of your dad. My colleague and friend here jsut lost his dad (last week) and I know this is a touch time for him. Thanks for sharing.
Just now read you had stopped in Dothan going down. Anyhow, sometime when you are coming through Dothan again just let me know.
I will glady meet you for lunch at one of our local McDonalds, Wendys, Chick-fil-a or other child friendly restaurant.

Songbird said...

Safe travels home, too!

HeyJules said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Rev!

JWD said...

Intended to simply leave a de-lurking comment, but was moved especially by this entry. I was home last week and had a really amazing experience driving on an old familiar road--felt overwhelmed by memories I'd thought were forgotten years ago. I thoughout I ought to write a blog entry about it, but forgot when I came home. Thanks for reminding me!

St. Casserole said...

Thoughtful post. (o) to you.

zorra said...

I miss my dad too. I hope y'all enjoyed your Thanksgiving.
(o)