A ROAD OF REMEMBERING

Note: Following is a page from my spiritual journal.

 

Perfume of small white orange blossoms rode the breeze as I drove past rows of citrus trees laden with fruit. My drive across Florida’s state road 62 began just north of Wauchula, a small town on US17 east of Tampa and I-75. The two-lane was fairly straight, no cracks or potholes marred its surface.

Florida’s 62

Florida’s 62

I saw few other cars or pick-ups. After I set my cruise control to 60, part of my mind drifted. Angus cows and their calves grazed in fields of white “cow birds” that eat cattle’s ticks and fleas. Cows! Central Florida had many milk-givers and cattle, my younger son David and I used to count cows to pass the time as I drove from my parents’ Sebring home across a similar road to Bradenton and a Gulf beach. I smiled at the memory. Cows. cows, cows!

Rolling along, I remembered why I had moved to Sebring. My parents! After they retired there, I asked, “Why didn’t you go to the coast?”

Daddy shook his head, “Too much traffic!”

When I quizzed Mother, she shrugged, “Friends live here.”

When my widowed mother died in 1995, I could not sell her doublewide. Due to that and complications in my Michigan life, I had sold my northern condo and moved to her Sebring unit. Later, I found a buyer but remained in Sebring until after I married JK in 2004.

During my Sebring years, I was part of a circle of wonderful ladies who changed my thinking and trust. Closeness with wise women was a rare and wonderful experience that touched me deeply. When I moved to Gainesville, I kept in touch with several of them and had driven down to see June, who I emailed every day. While in the area, I said hello to George and Anna who also still lived there.

Anna and George

Anna and George

The same day June and I lunched with Nancyann, a friend from our old circle. I thought of missing circle members. Dottie left for the North, Joy and Serena moved back to their Mid-south families. Helen and Julie joined the angels.

Nancyann, me and June

Nancyann, me and June

Rain from a passing cloud spattered my windshield. Fat Florida drops. After clearing the windshield, I passed a side road marked “Plant City” with an arrow pointing north. Glancing up the empty road, I recalled driving to ‘Strawberry Singles” with my dancing pal, Dottie.

Dottie in 2006

Dottie in 2006

Later, we attended dances in Lakeland. I met JK at a Lakeland dance….

Not far off the road, I noticed two small white crosses crowned with red, blue and yellow plastic flowers. Around them was a white picket fence. Two people died there. Someone is tending the area as a remembrance. Bless them!

The somber feeling brought memories of others who recently died. God bless Aunt Deanie, Jeannie, Denny,…Julie, Helen….

At a stop sign, 62 ended. I turned right for about a mile before jogging west onto Moccasin Wallow, a similar rural two-lane that led to I-75. On both sides of the highway, large machines were clearing the land.

Later, I saw two gated communities. One brick gate was labeled “Cooperstone.” Who wants to live way out here? They must drive miles for groceries!

Minutes ahead on an overpass, cars and trucks whizzed by on 6-lane I-75. I turned onto the ramp marked “North to Tampa.” Pushing the accelerator hard, I merged with fast-moving traffic.

Goodbye memory drive!

 

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