Mack Williams: Country Daydream on Wheels

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 28, 2017

The other day, I was on my way down to my optometrist in Yanceyville to get a prescription for some new contact lenses, so I had the opportunity of being “in the country” again. Those beautiful rural sites are worth fresh contacts (as is continuing to legally drive).

After getting my prescription, and because the day was so beautiful, I veered off onto country side roads I hadn’t traveled since retiring as a social worker for the Caswell County Department of Social Services in 2001. This ride was in the nature of a “senior” joy ride (for countryside instead of thrills)and enjoyable, unlike many of those made as a social worker.

At the end of casework trips, I made notes in the clients’ records about what I had seen; and at the end of this trip, I made notes too, to be used in this newspaper column for Sunday, May 28th, 2017.

In the healthy breeze, the leaves along those rural roads truly moved the way the foliage painted by Van Gogh seems to move.

Dark green country ponds seemed to reflect only the dark green shadows of surrounding woods, without a hint of the blue sky above.

I then passed a “sun farm” (no, not a nudist colony). A field of solar panels as far as the eye could see caught something more important than the blue of the sky, but instead, the sun itself which they would turn into “electric food” for the powering of homes and businesses.

Along those roads was every shade of green, except for the one for which a trip to Ireland is required.

I passed what looked like a large, ground-based flower box in one yard. What had once been home to flowers or vegetables was now home to only a coiling of ivy; but then again, perhaps that was the original intent.

Some yards had just been mowed, and the rich smell of “grass blood” was so delicious I wondered whether ranch or a vinigarette dressing would go well with the clippings (fresh country cow manure’s smell is even more overpowing in “richness,” but doesn’t inspire such thoughts).

Some yards were so close-cropped as to inspire comparison to a putting green; yet a golf ball set down on the vast majority of them would roll, it being the “rolling piedmont.”

In addition to clipping below, there was clipping above, by a man in the cherry picker of a tree service truck.Although not a lineman, his hard hat and “altitude” seemed to make him a relative of Opie’s “Mr. Mc Beevee.”

I then passed by the rural Caswell County home of a recently deceased judge. From the number of cars parked, I wondered if relatives we there to receive furnishings and mementos which had been “adjudicated” them by their esteemed relative.

Down the road came a house, or rather, half of one. Its other prefab half soon followed. Whole, it would have been too much of a “WIDE LOAD” for that narrow road! Someone always desiring a house in the country would soon have their wish granted (with a little work left to be done).

All the while, an anvil-shaped thundercloud had threatened in the distance, but never arrived. The weatherman had predicted a 10 percent chance of showers, and true to his word, that dark cloud never seemed to occupy more than 10 percent of the sky (but I don’t think that’s what he meant).

Before turning back onto the more major highway, I saw a run-over black snake in the road, the only negative thing in my little ride (even more so from the snake’s point of view). In the country, black snakes are valued for “taking care of” rodents and venomous snakes, so its death must have been an unavoidable accident.Otherwise, this was a refreshing “pastoral” odyssey which I hadn’t been on in a while.

If only my poor little, cold-bloodied “friend” hadn’t forsaken his pastoral turf for the sun-drenched asphalt’s tempting heat, he might yet be “a snake in the grass.”

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