On the road to my sister's place in Virginia...
...the weather was gorgeous, blue sky with light swirls of white, brilliant sunshine, wind through the trees. The kids ran around the rest area with reckless abandon. Happy to be freed from the moving vehicle, they chased each other and Daddy among the trees and the picnic benches.
...the state troopers sat at the side of the road, watching for speeders. Their flashing blue lights could be seen for miles, screaming a warning to everyone else. Red brake lights lit up like neon dominoes, as the others heeded the warning. Time to raise money for state and county.
...Welcome to Virginia, with the red cardinal and the blue flag: "Sic semper tyrannus.". Welcome to North Carolina, with the red, white and blue banner and golden NC.
...A long stretch of road through southeastern Virginia, US Route 58. My father in law once told us of the time when 58 was a deceivingly simple two-lane country road, from Emporia to Martinsville. Deceiving simple, for this stretch was infamously known as "Suicide Strip". Many cars ran off the road during the older days, before the 58 Bypass, before speed limits. It's still a good idea to be vigilant here, with the rolling hills lulling motorists into a false sense of security.
...I haven't lived here for 15 years. I remember when there was nothing but fields out by Princess Anne Road. Now there are Targets and Super Wal-Marts, the SportsPlex and the Virginia Beach Amphitheater, and high-rise condos and new churches and schools. My parents lived on the edge of the suburbs; now it takes three minutes to get a extra-hot, non-fat, no-whip, cinnamon chai tea with a egg-yolk-less, whole wheat, lean ham and non-dairy cheese.
...I write this on a Sunday morning on Labor Day weekend. It's relatively quiet now, with cartoons on the TV. Later it will be chaos, with parents and relatives and friends coming over for a barbeque, people I haven't seen for nearly a year; kids playing on the playground equipment outside, football on the big-screen, older kids on the Wii, and Baby Sarah taking it all in and thinking, "My family is weird."
But weird is good, and family is forever.
All original writing and art copyright A. Dameron 2000-2010