Thursday, January 24, 2013

Winter Afternoon Fancy

I'll just tell you a little bit about my drive today up north. It is still cold here, the high of twenty degrees F. When the cold comes in like this, the sun shines, the skies are deep blue. The roads dusty white beneath my car, but watch out for the slick black for ice.
One road I turned on in the flat corn fields, I only knew it was the road because of memory. A white path between the stubble of harvested corn stalks, the only semblance of a way. I thanked God no other vehicles approached me from any direction. I did not know how I would fair on the side of the road, as I kept to the middle.
I reached the end of this road, the next more cleared. The sun over the hill-less landscape, bright, but so distant. I felt so small under this vast clear sky with the fuzzy clouds high, high, high. No warmth in this cold sky keeping the sun so far away.
I love this area, but I'm glad I grew up with my hills. I feel less alone, less exposed in my hills than when I'm in the big bowl. Yet, I also feel when I'm in this stretch of northern Trumbull County that I could soar. Take off into that distant sky. I know the earth goes farther north, but I have the end of the land feel. So close, yet so different from my Pennsylvania.
The farm land also feels so wholesome. The small crossroads of a town, with the white Federal style church and the Town Hall hump in this remote land. I glanced at the Town Hall of an 1800's building with new windows. Yes, real town business must go on in there. Just a few houses huddled together, then onto the surrounding farms with the yawning fields, groves of trees far off, covered with fresh clean snow. This town has no stores around. They all must travel a distance, even for milk.
I imagine living here, the difficulties, the watching the storms roll in from the far west. The small cemetery on the knoll. No hills, only flat. I can almost see the horse drawn sleighs. The women in bulky sweaters with heavy wool skirts and muck about boots. The men wear their flannel and overalls, with hulking boots. They come to the church for dinners on a Saturday. Maybe this church will allow dancing. I feel the warmth of wood stoves.
I can smell the wood stoves' smoke when I'm out in the country like this. With the windows closed, I faintly sniff that wonderful aroma.
I know these people are not from another era. They watch TV, have the internet, go into the big town or the city for their shopping. Their experiences may be different than mine, but they don't live in the past. Oh, how I can imagine the past there, though. I mentioned this land before, I let my imagination loose and plan stories, if I'm not answering calls from doctors or my office. At one time it didn't even have cell phone reception, but alas, that has changed with the times.
Thank you for riding with me tonight. I hope you enjoyed the winter afternoon's fancy.

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