Driving Down Keezletown Road

I’ve been itching to write this since 8:00 this morning, but that teaching job that (sort of) pays the bills claimed my day.  If you are a writer, when you have something that strikes you, it’s a splinter in the foot.  You don’t rest until you’ve dug it out.

I have quite a lovely commute to work.  I take Keezletown Road.  I think it’s still called that but I’m not sure because what I call Keezletown Road, Jack calls by some number.  When he says it, I have to ask, “What’s that road?”   It’s ironic that this is the road that took the Blose girls to elementary school every day.   A curvy, hilly road and if the bus driver was in a happy mood he’d take the hills a little faster, and I’d literally fly in the air, laughing joyfully.  I don’t think my feet touched the floor of the bus until sixth grade.

Usually on my commute, if no one is coming, I glance over to the left at my childhood home, now way up high on the hill.   Ten years ago, my Mom moved that house up that hill.  Honestly.  Moved it over a mile through some fields and up to the top of a big hill where the milking herd used to lounge in the spring sun or find cool shade in the dog days of summer. The view from the top is stunning.   Today, I started thinking about my Dad.  Gone now twelve years, he wasn’t given the opportunity to sit on the new deck and take in that view.  I soon felt my eyes stinging with tears.   I started thinking about a younger Billy Blose, before he was a husband or a father, chasing in cows to the milk barn.   Even as a teenager, he wanted to live on that hill.  I wonder if he took the time to visualize what  his life  would be like before he had to get on with his chores.    I’m sure there were countless times as a young farmer that he would stop by the edge of the wood on the four-wheeler, and look at the Peak, dreaming of waking up to that view.   I remembered him then as my older Dad, happily taking our future minister, John Leggett, to the top of the hill to show him where he planned to move the house.  John was looking for a home in the area, and the story is that he said, “Yes.  I think this spot will suit Alayne and I just fine.”

Is a dream deferred a dream denied?   Is it a tragedy when we don’t get what we want? Yes. I’m afraid it is a side effect of being human.   Someone once asked me why he didn’t move the house up on the hills years ago.  Well, there were seven girls to feed and clothe, big wheels, dollhouses, roller skates, tennis shoes, basketball shoes, high heeled shoes to go with prom dresses, cows, trips in a motor home across the country,  cars,  lots of dogs, a pinball machine, a tree house, Disney World, college, weddings, grandbabies, and trips with the grandkids.  My third favorite Beatle said,  “Life’s what happens while you’re making plans.”   But I’m going to suggest that there’s nothing wrong with making “plans.”  They keep us motivated when we get beat down.  They give us energy when we really don’t want to get out of bed.  Plans keep us inspired.  They are often a flashlight in the dark and a welcome distraction when reality is cruddy.    I don’t think Dad would have traded that view for the hollering at basketball games, walks down the aisle, jumps off the mantel with his grandkids,  or any single moment with my Mom.   I’m pretty sure he already knew what it looked like, anyway.

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