The top was down on the Mustang, of course. The shades were on. I told myself I needed something at Dollar General in Cross Lanes. Just what, I would figure out once I got there.
Down past the high school and left through the golf course, down Dairy Road, up the hill, and past the 1960, maybe 1961, Thunderbird that really is a barn find. Someday "American Pickers" may find it.
I punched on Siriusly Sinatra on the satellite radio. A 1962 Sinatra was singing from "Point Of No Return," his last album for Capitol, recorded in two days to fulfill a contract obligation. But he brought back Alex Stordahl, an arranger who helped make him a star 20 years earlier. The album begins with a Johnny Mercer song, "(Ah, the Apple Trees) When the World Was Young." It is Parisian; Edit Piaf first recorded it in 1950.
As I wind down the road, I have no thoughts and barely hear the song -- not because my hearing is bad (it is) but because my mind is elsewhere, in a place I call nowhere. I am not writing. I am not thinking. I am not dreaming. I am in the moment.
The afternoon smells fresh.The leaves are gold and red. There is a maple that turned orange. The colors reflect a wet spring and summer, followed by a dry September and October. It is a rarity, likely
The road is lumpy, asphalt patched over once too often. There are slips as the hills try to shed the road.
The road follows the Pocatalico River for which Poca is named. People think Poca is named for Pocahontas. Nope. The river looks like a pond today as the leaves in the water do not move. As I drive I go back in time 30 years at when I first moved here. It was a trailer park out past Doc Bailey Road. I used to drive through Cross Lanes to get there.
Instead of turning off the paved an winding Doc Bailey Road, I go further up the road to Lanham, which is barely on the map. Dollar General is forgotten. I pass nice houses on large lots and farms, and trailers, and an old trailer that the owner has spray painted to tell passers by that his horses are well-fed and cared for. Evidently someone called the cops on him years ago for the sign has been there a while. There is plenty of flat land along the river.
There is little traffic. And no thoughts. It's a lovely day. There are not many left, this year. Soon teh trees will be denuded and ugly, the hills will be bare, and the top will be up.
Ah, the apple trees,Sinatra's version.
Blossoms in the breeze,
That we walked among,
Lying in the hay,
Games we used to play,
While the rounds were sung,
Only yesterday, when the world was young.