Saturday, April 14, 2012

Farm Roads

Note: Farm Roads was written for my kids.  The reader is likely 7-8 years of age.
            A farm can be a favorite place for anyone.  I spent hours at my grandparents farm fishing, walking into the woods, and watching the deer.  Of all the things I enjoyed about the farm, my favorite was my own little roads between two large Evergreen Trees.  There I would spend hours making roads from one end to the other with my toy bulldozers, road graders, dump trucks and farm trucks.
            Each year when the weather would get warm, my grandmother would get out her hoe and make the new roads.  She’d drag it and make roads from tree-to-tree.  After she was finished making my roads, I’d conduct farm business.
            I would make a house for each person along the road with small rocks or sticks.  I would grade the roads with the Tonka road grader to ensure just the right size roads.  My road was just like the one that ran in front of my grandparents house, and each time a truck or car would drive by, the dust would swirl up behind them and settle into the bushes along the real road.
                        My road was a great place, and it provided treasures.   I found a toy iron, a glass bottle, horseshoes, lid tops, and countless other little prized possessions.
            One time I got into trouble when the road expanded to the fence line.  My grandmother said there were snakes.  I tried to explain that I needed to get to the woods, but that branch of the road was closed forever.
            I can remember the feel of the dirt, the smell of the grass, and the bark of the Evergreen Trees that peeled away in small pieces.  I remember the way the grass disappeared the closer to the trees I got.
            Each evening, after a hard day on the roads, I’d sit in the bathtub and watch as the dirt of my roads drained away.  My grandmother always said it was just dirt, but to me it was more.  It was the foundation of the roads and I was a grader keeping it all neat like it should be.
            The farm is still there today.  My grandmother’s house is rented to some friends of ours, but the two big Evergreen trees are still there.  A few months ago, I walked over the yard to where my road had been long ago.  The grass had covered the roads I’d made, the trees were a little larger, and the old fence line was now cleared and no longer a place for snakes.  The real gravel road out front of the house had been paved years ago, and cars go much faster now.  The real road is wider, and my little roads are gone. 
            When I left, I saw something beside the largest tree.   It wasn’t mine, but there was a plastic dump truck.  There were no play roads, but then again, I guess this young kid would have to find a way to make a paved road now for his farm road.