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The Long Dusty Road Journals - The Ride Home
It is Friday and it has been a busy, hectic week. The traffic is backed up everywhere and the noise is loud and distracting. Sitting in the traffic makes me homesick to see my Mom, sister, and brothers. So Saturday morning, I throw a bag into my car and head out for the home place all excited and happy and canít wait to get off the interstate and onto that long dusty road that will take me home.

It is a trip I have made thousands of times before. The drive out of the city and into the country is filled with green grass and trees, cows and corn fields, and old crows soaring in the sky. There are ducks and wild geese swimming on the two ponds along the road and it is quiet and serene. I can feel the stress leaving my shoulders and neck as I get close to home.

The old home place sits two miles off the main road up a long gravel road to the top of a hill and sits among the old oak trees and overlooks the valley below. Standing near the end of the yard and looking out across the valley below is breath taking. My brotherís place sits just across the yard . As I pull up the long drive, I see my brother coming to the car to meet me. He gives me a big hug just as my Mom steps down off the front porch to meet me and tells me how glad she is that I am home. Tears of joy fill my eyes and, for a while, I feel all is right with the world and that I am home where I belong.

After my Dad died, I thought a lot about moving back to the country to be near my brothers, my sister, and my Mom. My Dad left us all too soon and there were things I still needed to say to him. I needed more time, more of his stories, more of watching him sleep in his chair. All those memories overwhelm me. I havenít yet learned how to cope with him not being there. His chair still sits beside the oak tree and his tools are still laying in the shop and I can feel him all around me. I can still hear his laughter and I can still see the way he walks across the yard and the way his cap sits on his head. His old truck is still parked in the same spot and his coffee cup is still in the kitchen cabinet. It is a mystery to me how sad it makes me but what a comfort it is for my brother to be around all his things.

We spent the week end eating everything Mother could put on the table and telling stories about things that happened when we were still kids and laughed until we cried. But, for this trip, my time is up and I need to get back to my family. So, I say my good byes and promise my Mom I will be careful driving back home. I settle down in my car, drop a CD in the player and I am glad to be alone again and left to my thoughts as I head back to the city. The laughter, the tears, the hugs, seeing my Mom, my brothers, and my sister, and being home again is good for my soul. There will be many more times when I take the

Submitted By: Alex Meador from TN on 2009-11-26

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