I can't remember the last time I drove at night. Being so far out we never go anywhere, much less in the evening. We usually have an early wake up and it's a long way to get into town so we just don't go. I don't particularly like to drive – I'm not afraid I just don't like to be in the car. So I rarely drive and almost never at night.
I kinda forgot how great it can be in the summer time.
We had one of those crazy work schedule situations the other night where, three minutes before I was supposed to to go bed, my husband called and I had to go and get him from his job. So I drove. Nightdriving.
It was one of those hot, swampy, early July nights and the last of what was left of the sun was streaked across the sky. I followed the sun as it sank and the first evening star as it rose. The dark was coming up behind me but I was staying just ahead of it.
I don't have enough concern for worldly distractions or enough angst to listen to pop music. So I had the local country music station blaring on the radio. It was one of those patriotic songs, as was fitting for the weekend, and I sang along as I drove down that curving country road chasing the setting sun.
Toby Keith and I sang about this country while I drove from one town to the next, navigating from one water tower to the next between flat farm fields and through the little towns.
My old man’s that old man
Spent his life livin’ off the land
Dirty hands and a clean soul....
The town people had their homes all lit up with their night just beginning. But as the road crawled out into the quiet stretches the early rising farm folks had darkened houses – except for the kitchen light. It was always on.
...He’s got the red, white, blue
Flyin’ high on the farm
Semper fi tattooed on his left arm....
The darkness finally overtook me as I crossed the railroad tracks in one small town, but it was considered a big town by these standards because it had a gas station and a pizza take out place. The old homes along the main street all had flags still flying for the holiday weekend.
Spend a little more in the store for a tag
in the back that says “USA”
He won't be nothing that he can't fix
with WD-40 and a Craftsman wrench...
The lights from the gas station sign seemed a little harsh. So I was glad when I drove out of its glare and into the dark and then........ millions of flashes lit up the fields. Fireflies. Tons and tons of fireflies. Winking and blinking... thousands and thousands of them sparkling and twinkling. It was amazing so I slowed down to take it all in. Fireflies are the best part of summer in the midwest.
….Born in the heartland
Raised up a family
King James and Uncle Sam...
I made a turn onto what is considered a bigger road but really it's just two lanes with a number for a name instead of the two towns it connects. I headed for the next water tower and then something caught my eye. Fireworks. Across the fields and way over to the south a little town was having their big show. They were too far away to hear but I could see the fireworks blue against a black sky. It wasn't a huge production but I bet them folks were enjoying it all the same. They probably had a parade and an ice cream social.
So there I was with the fireworks and the fireflies. Nightdriving. Hot summer night heavy with humidity and me singing along to the radio. It was the perfect snapshot of a summer evening in this Good Land.
….Made in America
My old man's that old man
Made in America...
Sometimes my city friends make fun of me for moving out here into The Flyover. I wish I could package up that fair summer evening – the flags and the fireflies and the fireworks - and give it to them. But I'm not sure all those people understand nightdriving.
Happy Monday everyone! Did you have a good holiday weekend? Anybody lose their livestock?