When I was young Friday was magic. Saturday and Sunday were coming which meant in short hours I'd be on that dusty red dirt road to the sweetest place on earth.
Where young met old and childhood held hands and hearts with those whose lives were closer to the end than the beginning. Those who cherished us and gave us all that their lives had given them to offer.
Down Highway 35 past the dream homes on the left and Daddy's shack past those.
Miles felt like hours and rarely was there a moment of broken yellow line and log trucks and old men made it not matter anyway.
Past the railroad tracks and the first turn into Walnut Grove with the Ten Cent store and icecream at the drugstore and Mama's dresses at Nell's.
Just minutes away past the second turn, yards before Kit Lewis' store faced Rogers Appliance we would make the left at Starling Center Road, flanked by rundown homes and the small black church.
Around the curve where pickup landed in ditch when Mama wrecked with Aunt Charlene while learning to drive and on past the Allen's grand land on the left. Land that raised cows that lined up and mourned their dead.
And the pink baby roses trellised and clusters of small white flowers joined buttercups to grace the small home on nine acres of heaven on earth. The mimosa tree was worth climbing and the scent of earth strong and the air cold underground in the storm shelters that moved from spot to spot when boredom found Pa.
Everywhere was hollerin' range. Everywhere was poor country folk and we were ignorantly bliss.
Quilts stacked from floor to ceiling with gun nestled in the middle and we knew what not to touch. Six foot length of double closet was the scary place and mac and cheese was only served on weekends with grilled cheese under the broiler after Saturday night singings.
Where windows fogged and there was always a shadow of our doodling and I slept next to the best and we talked till Mama's words thru paper-thin walls hushed our mouths.
Storage shed to playhouse and storage shed to playhouse and storage shed to playhouse till playhouses stood three doors wide. And where was the storage shed and did Pa know the word no?
He did and so did she but I only remember the yeses and dirt on my bare feet and my imagination working overtime till Hee Haw's Roy Clark and Buck Owens beckoned us to Kornfield County.
Is that road paved now? I can't remember from the last funeral years ago. How I can't remember few years ago but childhood is yesterday?
And the spot is still there and so is the fence line behind where we couldn't cross. The Allen's pasture is full of pines and the pear tree is gone.
But my mind can go back and I can hear I'll Fly Away and see only two front teeth and beg for a ride in his truck or on his knee. I can remember all these things here.
And still - can the weekend ever come soon enough?
Pa, turn off your blinker.