Monday, September 24, 2012

Take me home, country roads

September 24, 2012

Almost heaven, West Virginia
Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River
Life is old there, older than the trees
Younger than the mountains, blowing like a breeze

This past Saturday was a typical autumn day, for which I’m grateful. I had a wedding to attend in Romney, West Virginia. My youngest cousin married his college sweetheart in a wonderfully simple ceremony. The bride was lovely and the groom ever the handsomest boy in the room. Excuse me - young man. It brought us all together to celebrate new beginnings and strengthen established ties.

If you’ve read more than one of my stories, you’ve likely figured out I love my neighboring state - wonderful, wild, beautiful West Virginia. So taking a two-hour drive through the mountains wasn’t a hardship - even with my mom and stepdad in the back seat.

We - my partner, the parental units, and myself - rolled onto the Interstate and I realized I should have made a John Denver CD to play. Not that the late Mr. Denver is my preferred driving music, but my seventy-something mother doesn’t have the same appreciation of Chad Kroeger’s ass in black leather pants. What she says about his singing isn’t printable, even by me. But I digress… John Denver would have been the perfect accompaniment for the drive.

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, Mountain Mama
Take me home, country roads

I remember the first time I heard Take Me Home, County Roads on the radio. Back in 1971, FM was in its infancy and so I heard it on the scratchy AM bands. It was back in the day when only my oldest cousin had a car. It was something every kid on the school bus knew the words to and would all sing along with when it played on the radio. Even the bus driver would join in on that one.  What I couldn’t know at such a young age was how the words of the song captured the beauty and sentiment an era almost passed.

 All my memories, gathered 'round her
Miners' Lady, stranger to blue water
Dark and dusty, painted on the sky
Misty taste of moonshine, teardrop in my eye

My country heritage means a lot to me. I love where I am in my life. In me is the bridge to the past for my young cousins even as I celebrate their view of a future just begun. I’m the keeper of heirlooms and the teller of old stories. I’m the one they look to when they need to know just how they’re related to so-and-so. I know what they will miss out on as this our crazy, modern world absorbs the old ways, and they will do things I can’t even dream of and blaze paths unimagined. These children of my heart will conquer the future while I look forward to some day being “retired” and spending time traveling on the winding country roads with old music blaring out of the speakers.

And that’s just the way it should be.

I hear her voice, in the morning hour she calls me
The radio reminds me of my home far away
And drivin' down the road I get the feeling
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday…


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