Sturm und drang. So throw me a donut.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Driving home in the storm

It seems like all I do anymore is drive to work before sunrise and drive home at dinner time...along with half the city. What should take 20 minutes takes 45 minutes or even an hour. Such is the life of someone who needs a paycheck.

This afternoon, just after I picked up my husband from his place of work, I noticed some dark clouds to the northwest. Dark clouds moving rapidly. We were halfway home when the storm hit: Hail, torrential rain, WIND, and lots of lightning and thunder. It took about five minutes and the roads were flooding and rivers of muddy water were streaming down the ditches. I am glad I drive a big truck. To hell with the gas mileage! I forded four rivers to get to my apartment, where my kids were happily draped over the couches in the living room, eating junk food, and watching the storm pass by.

The transition from college life to 40-hour-a-week employed life is going okay...but I wish I had a little more spare time. Weekends aren't long enough. But WAIT! Two years ago I was freaking out about how to live on unemployment/savings/school loans. So really, wishing for some spare time is just that; wishful thinking. I could have more spare time and be eating out of dumpsters. I could have lots of spare time and be living in my truck under a bridge. I guess it's just human nature to want what I don't have.

I do have something I want - and it's sitting on my desk. I received the book "Lawless" by Matt Bondurant in the mail today. I saw the movie a few weeks ago and I was smitten. Sure, there are things in the movie that could be better, but I am willing to overlook it because that could be three of the last four towns I've lived in! Just substitute the moonshine for meth labs or pot farms and baby I am H-O-M-E! Years ago, after moving to the first little town in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest, I learned that many of the small hill towns were populated by families that had immigrated from the Appalachians in the early part of the twentieth century. Today, successive generations of those families are still there...and except for the accent not much has changed.

The motto at the entrance to every one of those towns should be: If you aren't from here, you'll never be from here. So stop trying.

There seems to be a certain aspect of their heritage that keeps many of them rooted in place and suspicious of outsiders. I'm not sure what the payoff is, since poverty is a big part of everyones' life, but I watched one young person after another graduate from high school, leave for a year or two to work in a nearby city and then return and never leave home again. And it wasn't wanting to live there forever - It was not having any desire to see anything else in the world that really disturbs me. I must be a rootless wanderer.

So now I'm going to read the book and relive a little bit of my past. Oh, and lest you think I am pointing fingers at the poor, dumb, criminal hicks: I have a relative who was a counterfeiter, pirate, thief, and all-around scoundrel. And that's only scratching the surface.

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