Saturday, June 04, 2016

Every Day in June #4

I rode this morning - country roads out from my parent's house, roads I drove routinely when I was in high school, going back and forth to my best friend Teresa's house. I cycled down her old road, past her old house, and up around the circle, and the memories flooded in. I looked at the window in what was her bedroom and thought of so many sleepovers. Early Saturday mornings while she still slept, I, the early bird, rose and sat at the kitchen table drinking tea with her mom and dad. Very sweet memories.

I notice road names when I ride and find them endlessly fascinating. Burdette, Fowler, and Howard Roads - family names, no doubt. People who lived in the area in the rather distant past. Scuffletown, Copper Lake, and Jones Mill Roads - all places with history behind them. There was a grist mill on Durbin Creek, built in 1813 and later Walter Jones ground corn and wheat, operated a cotton gin, and ran a country store in that place. The name marks the place and ties it to the past. I do not mean to imply that the past was idyllic. But it is a place with a past, good and bad, and the name means something.

Some of the new subdivisions that are sprouting up around here have names like Savannah. What??? We are far from the coast of the neighboring state of Georgia. Was the builder dreaming of Spanish moss and live oaks or perhaps African plains and the wildebeest migration? Who knows. The name seemingly has nothing to do with the geography or history. I find this kind of naming sort of silly and off-putting. It has no connection to anything. (Like my own neighborhood with the British civil parish name of Huntwick and street names like Piccadilly and Buckingham. I have yet to see the Queen strolling with her corgis).

Today, I rode on King Road. It is a narrow, winding farm road with uneven asphalt. I imagine the King family once lived and worked the land here. There is a lovely old farm house that sits back from the road along a bend and I like to think about who might have built that house. Where King Road comes to a T and meets another country road, there is, sadly, a new subdivision, with boxy houses sprouting up like mushrooms after a rain. One day they are not there and the next day, pop, there are houses - or at least the concrete pads and framing for houses and the sound of music blaring to the staccato of nail guns. Anyway, this particular new development is called by the rather regal, uppity name of Kings Crossing. I started to take umbrage with the name but I had to take myself and my irritation in hand and remind myself that at least this name made a nod to the place. King Road was there before. Kings Crossing sits at the intersection. It makes sense, at least. Not like Savannah.

I think about road names, but I also notice flowers; the wild ones: bachelor buttons, Queen Anne's lace, and oxeye daisies and the cultivated ones, deep purple hydrangeas and gardenias. Ah, the gardenias! Together with magnolia and honeysuckle, they are the signature fragrance of early summer in the south. I just want to breathe and breathe and breathe them in. 

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