Back Roads, Old Buildings & Inspiration

Image: wiki/File:Old_Gas_Pump.jpg

Years ago, my husband and I pulled out a map, closed our eyes and randomly placed our fingers on a spot.  That spot was to be our weekend destination.  We loaded up our young son and off we went.  The only stipulations – no interstates and no national food chains.  This became the best weekend getaway ever!

We took time to stop at road side stands.  We visited a small town that time forgot.  If you can imagine old-time gas pumps and 5¢ candies in glass jars… It was wonderful and nostalgic and so small town America.

Freewill Baptist Church, Sneads Ferry, NC
Freewill Baptist Church,
Sneads Ferry, NC

I love small towns.  I love driving back roads, looking at old churches, abandoned barns and finding the occasional surprise.

There is something about old things that speak to me.  I wonder at the stories they would tell, the memories they would share – if they could talk.  I think back to my grandparents – how hard they had to work to support their families – sharecropping, laboring in the tobacco fields, working in the laundry.  Well, three of them anyway. One chose to make a living as a bootlegger – only he seemed to drink more than he sold…

One of those little surprises - a boat in the woods
One of those little surprises – a boat in the woods

Some people will triumph; others will fail.  And they leave behind them the ghosts of what was and what might have been.  I think it’s those ghosts, those wisps of memory, that draw me to by-gone places.

Those aging buildings, those forgotten places, tickle my imagination.  I see the spirit of a young woman pacing the front porch waiting for her lover to come home.  I hear the laughter of children as they splash in the shallows of a near by river.  I smell the perfumed air that announces the arrival of a fairy prince.  And if I’m lucky, a new character might just introduce herself…

So – What inspires you?