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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



I truly love life in the country. Oh sure, it has it’s downfalls at times, plagues of locusts, the lack of affordable heating sources and not being able to walk a couple of blocks to get a dish of ice cream, but the rewards truly outweigh the detractions. Part of that joy stems from having a front porch. Some nights when the cicadas are too loud I sit on the porch in my chair and watch the sun set over the western horizon. Just in front of that horizon sits a road that I know better than the back of my hand, in fact I would dare say that I could drive its entire length with my eyes closed. That road started out over one hundred years ago as a simple path that lead from the river bottoms near a mineral spring south over the tall prairie grass of the gentle rise and fall of the land.

Years later the road was graded and paved with gravel. That surface and this new shortcut between Dexter and Redfield would see outlaws and presidents, farmers and school children, horse and buggies to Impalas and it became and important road for commerce. Just before I was born the road outside my home was paved with concrete. Over the years I’ve learned to drive on that road, ridden my bicycle to town on it, and listened at night to the gentle thud thud thud as cars come up the road and just from the sounds I can usually tell where they are at and how big a vehicle it is.

For those of you who live in town, even if you don’t have a porch maybe you feel the same way about the street outside your house, that little chunk of pavement on your curbside that you call all your own. You trim it up, plant flowers next to it and make sure that it keeps clean and picked up. It’s like it’s a part of who you are and where you live, which is how I feel about this road. Now as you may know the county is in the middle of work on reconstructing the road. In the past two weeks they have made almost a half of a mile of progress, tearing out the old concrete and crushing it up. That crushed up pavement will be put back down as a base for new black, hot, sticky black top.

It makes me a little sad to think about the blacktop going down on the road. Gone will be the gentle thud thud thud that the cars make, the way I would count the numbers stamped in the pavement at the roads edge as I ride my bicycle to town and back. I’m sure that the wash out on Dexfield hill will remain, as they still don’t seem to understand that putting in a culvert would take the spring water away from eroding the road bed, but that old road will never seem quite the same anymore. But I will be there on my porch watching the sun as it sets over the western horizon and in my mind when I close my eyes I will hear the clip clop of the horse and buggy of long ago, or the noise of the tires as they thumped over the cracks in the road and will be thankful to have the road back open and having a clean gravel free car once again.

See you next week. Remember, we’re all in this together.