Dave's Sketch Journal

Drawing is taking a line for a walk. - Paul Klee

Laurel, Mississippi

Just out of Atlanta of about six hours, we stayed with a friend in Laurel, Mississippi. She put us up, or maybe I should say, put up with us. She is a great hostess. It was a rather late notice when we called to ask if we could stay an night with her. In fact, we called the morning of our stay. Not too considerate for sure. We have been so busy with all the preparations of leaving, selling, giving to charity, giving other things to friends, that we just simply didn't give enough attention to where we were headed. We knew we were going to California but didn't know where we'd stop on the way.

I have been down here several times. Once just after Katrina in 2005. The town was hard hit. A friend and myself drove down with some supplies: water, canned goods, gas, etc.

Laurel is a small town that time has forgotten. You'll see old gas stations of the 50s fallen into disuse and corrugated feed supply buildings, and railroad tracks that snake through the town.

There is new development too, a Walmart, a Lowes, and a great all-you-can-eat place, but alas no Starbucks. I'll have to recommend that to the mayor the next time through.

The town still has a few huge oak trees remaining from the storm. Other oaks that used to line the streets are now long gone. They toppled splitting houses in half like an axe splitting wood. Neither the house nor the trees survived.

Anyway, despite the late notice, our friend had arranged dinner for us and she invited some other dear friends too. We all laughed until 10:00 p.m. and then crashed into a warm bed of pastel colors and slept like rag dolls.

It was the next morning when we were backing out of her driveway, waving goodbye, when I heard a loud crunch. I was looking out the rearview mirror on the right side where the driveway spanned a culvert three feet deep but forgot to check the left side. The van frame now sat on her driveway and the wheel dangled into the culvert below. Fortunately, the van has front wheel drive and after unloading the boxes I was able to scrape forward onto the driveway. I loaded the boxes back into the van and said goodbye for the second time.

But other than that, not much has happened.

Try to relax and enjoy the crisis. - Ashleigh Brilliant

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