Middle of the Road


On the way home from somewhere, after sunset, before dark, purple dusky time of day, back roads barely two lanes wide, dry dust billows, loose gravel scatters and skitters as we roll by. This close to home is as familiar as the intricate web of smile lines on my face. After this bend is the overgrown field loosely defined with rusty tangles of an old abandoned barbed wire fence. Far across the field is a breathtaking yet glancing view of the ridge line that runs to Hunter Mt. Past the fence is a small pine woods plot brought up short by the cleared lot for the newly built house that has had an excavator parked in the front yard for over a year now. Here the road slopes steeply downhill (in this direction anyway) with a narrow twist at the bottom suddenly ending in a 4 way stop. My eyes are following the ditch/ intermittent gully that runs along the side of the road. Every heavy rainstorm and spring snow melt brings remarkable erosion changes. Is that white bumpy conglomerate rock in a different place? As we swoop down the hill I realize Jonathan is driving down the middle of the road, and has been for the last mile or so. It does not strike me as odd, as I do the same thing when driving this road, and thinking about it, I believe that many people who live here also drive down the middle of the road on these back byways. To top that off, no one ever has terror stories about people crashing head on because they were both in the middle of the road. Other reasons yes, but not that one. I smile and feel grateful that I live in a place where we all can drive down the middle of the road once and a while and not worry about it, because so few people live here that it isn’t a big deal!


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