From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A backroad

Life in Christian County, Kentucky... The Rural Life...



George Shaw Road, Hopkinsville, KY

We took one of the push mowers to be repaired the other day, and this morning I stopped to see if it was ready. These photos were taken at opposite ends of the road where the mower repairman and his family live.

The George Shaw Road travels through the countryside from a ridge on Pilot Rock Road (above) to a creek crossing on Butler Road (below). By Christian County standards, it's a sparsely populated area. Only three sets of farm buildings are found along the several miles of road. All are owned by Mennonite families. Two of them run dairy farms and the third has the lawn mower repair shop.

I do notice when I drive down that road that I seem to be far out in the country. Large open fields stretch into the distance on one side of the road and on the other side, milkcows graze in their pastures. The road winds a little so it can pass close to each farmhouse.

A few big oaks grow along the roadside, and the farm buildings are shaded by trees, but the road does not pass by any patches of woods. Isaac commented the other day that it almost feels like the prairie. I think it has that feeling because it is unusually free of trees and houses.

Most country roads here are paved, but this road is still just graveled. That's a good reason to drive slowly and roll down the windows to hear the bird songs and smell the fresh air.

Years ago, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils recorded a great song called, "Backroads". Dennis says that it's my theme song -- "I take the backroads wherever I go..." Well, I'll accept the song as one of the themes of my life. I don't advocate or enjoy driving around drinking beer and whiskey (as mentioned in the song), but I do enjoy driving the country roads whenever possible.

George Shaw Road, Hopkinsville, KY

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9 comments:

KennethF said...

Hey Gene: I also enjoy the country roads very much. The intro-photo is wonderful! It reminds me of how to tell the number of trains that pass, by the shine off the top of the tracks. (& rusty is easier to walk on.)
Your presentation view is right with the light and all. There is no perfect photo... the closer most shooter's want, the further away they usually feel. Your photos link with your message in a poetic manner that is difficult for most writers to even ponder.
I usually have more to say than most. Well'p__ your blog-friend, ~(:-_))kfh
ps: My pushmower (handle only) from 50+ years ago is still on my workshop wall!

Phil said...

Hey, I like your recipes blog! I'll have to try some of them. :-)

By the way, How did Linux work out? I've been having problems.

Pondering Pig said...

Thanks for dropping by the Pigsty last night. I thought your little comment on the King Sisters singing Take the A Train just nailed it.
I admire your cool and controlled 'Elements of Style' approach to writing vey much. It's something I am constitutionally incapable of. Perhaps it comes from your Nebraska upbringing - like Willa Cather's, a writer we both hold in great esteem. In fact, I hope to visit Red Cloud, her home town, again in just a few weeks.
Some other interesting congruences, both from "In the Shadow of the Babcocks", which I posted yesterday: My grandmother went to live in the sandhill country of western Nebraska after her mother died, and little Grace, her sister who got polio - eventually owned a watch repair shop in Hopkinsville, Kentucky!
Thanks again for dropping by.

Genevieve said...

Pondering Pig,

I read your essay about the Babcock family and thought about commenting to you that I used to know some Babcocks in the Sandhills. But in re-reading the story, I wasn't sure that the lady who went to the Sandhills would have had the last name of Babcock.

Genevieve said...

Phil,

We did install Linux on the little computer just last week. I am trying to get it networked with the Windows computer that I'm using at the moment. They say they're networked, but I don't know how to access one from the other! I have tried to give them permission, but they don't seem to understand. :D

Perseverance is the key (I hope!) Also, my daughter's boyfriend will be here with her on Mother's Day, so I'll have him take a look. He has his Linux and Windows computers networked.

All it really has to do as far as I'm concerned is edit text and get on the internet.

I haven't had time to study and play with it much to see what Linux can do. All that command line stuff (terminal window or whatever) reminds me of the good old days of DOS.

Neurotic Mom said...

Wow everytime i read your blog i really, really miss being in the country and this is about as close as i'll get to being out in the country.

Phil said...

@ Genevieve - Well, that's further than I got! I just bought a used computer for $40 dollars and it seems to have trouble booting from CD -- it's a hit and miss kind of thing. I might be able to get it to work... I dunno.

Genevieve said...

Phillip, send me an e-mail and I will send you the instructions I followed so far. (I have a very helpful coach.)

Genevieve said...

Neurotic Mom,

Don't ever lose your hope about getting back to the country. You never know what will happen in life. Believe me, I would never have predicted that I'd end up in Kentucky.

Honestly, this photo has such an old time look with that dirt road stretching into the horizon that it almost makes me homesick too -- and I live here!

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
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