Sunday, November 21, 2004
Long Way From Home...
Long way from home...
"You a long way from home... You get this a here where you come from?"
The old man spoke to me as I exited my car, camera in hand and ready to photograph anything that appealed to me. The man noticed my out of state plates. I was traveling through Omaha, Texas just doing a little sightseeing and killing time while wondering if I could ever live in the country.
"How you doing, sir?" I asked.
"I'm doing just fine. What you think of all this here?"
"What do you mean?"
"These purty colors and such. That's why I can just sit on my porch for hours. As you can see I dont get much traffic through here. A car go by maybe every fifteen or twenty minutes. Last car before you belong to my neighbor and you can't even see his house from here."
The man spoke proudly. I looked in his eyes and could see he lived a lot of years before he reached his current state of serenity. Could I live like this? I asked myself. I mean, I'm from Los Angeles. I work in a world famous hospital where stress is at an all time high because life be like that in LA. I just know when I get back to that world, I'm gonna have to catch up, literally. People move faster, cars move faster, life moves faster... I've seen signs of that in the small towns that link these beautiful country sides together but for the most part, they only going half the speed of their big city counterparts.
"What you got in your hand there?" The man pointed to my camera.
"Oh.... seen one of those on television. Don't care much for 'em but I can understand you wanting to take pictures of the country. That's a good way to take what you found out here back witcha, huh? Yeah, I know how it is..."
I assumed that the man didn't want me to take a picture of him so I photographed some of the scenery around him and then snapped a couple shots of his house. Even though I had seen some enormous brick homes scattered throughout the area, occasionally I'd come upon how country homes used to look. This man's house was just that type of place. I could imagine sitting on a porch like his myself and after I took a few more pictures, I asked the man permission if I could sit and listen to the quiet with him.
"Pull up a chair. I got a son that stay in Houston. When he come here he can barely sit still cause he gotten so used to all that noise in the city. Let's see how you take all this here quiet" The man said.
"Oh, I'll be just fine. I love it out here..."
"Uh huh, well sit on down... Ain't no loud music out this way. Only them cows out yonder be keeping up a ruckus every now and a gin. Just the other day the swallows was flying by."
"Yeah, I saw them too..."
"Yeah, that mean winter coming pretty soon...We been having some good weather out here. Fall come kind of late seem like but either way, when it get here, it look just like what you see now..."
I told the man that when I first came out this way a couple weeks ago I didn't see hardly any fall colors but then as I made a couple trips to Louisiana and Mississippi, it seemed like each time I brought back with me a little more fall. The man laughed at me.
"It probably seemed that way, young man but we just last on that autumn trail you probably hear about. I dont travel as much as I'd like or probably should but sometime I visits family over in Texarkana. They usually take me a little farther into Arkansas cause one of they favorite restuarants is out that way. Well, on that highway around this time of the year you see a lot of folks just a taking pictures of the trees and what not.. Now that's where you need to go especially during the fall season.."
"Yeah, I was thinking about going there to checkout the Clinton library..."
Something about the mention of Clinton had the old man laughing gently to himself. I left his laughter alone and joined him in watching the beautiful country side. Only one other car went by in the hour that I sat there. But during that hour I'd see two deers, a hillside full of cows and few gorgeous horses roaming about as though they knew someone were looking at them. Horses act like they got a sixth sense for knowing when they're being watched and especially photographed. I had a great time but the question remained in my mind, could I live a country life? It would be an adjustment but I could do it if I had a whole bunch of horses, some cows, a few dogs and especially a special lady that wouldn't mind the same experience... Without that, a life in the country might drive me crazy!