Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Til The Cows Come Home by Christy Breedlove


Although most Georgians know that Highway 78 eastbound will eventually lead you out of Atlanta to Athens, most sadly miss the charm of this road in their quest to be a barker at a UGA football game. 
When you reach Split Silk in unincorporated Walton County on Highway 78, a change washes over you.  You’ve left the congestion and “city life” and you are now on rural time.  The clock ticks a sedate paste and seemingly stops when you ride through small towns you’ve never heard—Between, Mount Vernon and Good Hope to name a few.
            And happily, it’s not just the scenery that has altered.  The people have changed also and mostly for the better.  Parents instill a sense of respect of the land, communities and citizens in their children.  You can tell it in the attitude.  Neighbors are quick to help and in a crisis, everyone pulls together.  Sure, there is more kudzu to swallow the land but on the brighter side, it is the norm to hold your hand out the window to wave or even offer to open the door for a lady. Mommas and other ladies are still placed high on a pedestal and rarely fall off.  Although bigger communities have a reputation for “live and let live”, that is more apparent in the country.  Oddities are often overlooked and sometimes encouraged out here.
            My family and I were out cemetery hopping along this stretch of 78 when I spied flashing lights behind us when we tested these theories.
            “You looking for a cow?” was the first question when a Walton County deputy pulled over my husband. 
            My husband cut his eyes to me.  “Are we looking for a cow?”  He knew full well that we were indulging our macabre hobby of cemetery viewing. What can I say?  We like to view history through graveyards.
            “Nope, no cow hunters here.” I cheerfully informed the deputy.  “We’re just visiting cemeteries.”
            “Well, that’s good.” he said as if ghouls like us were an everyday occurrence.  The ‘well’ was drawn out into two syllables.  “It’s nice to see that respect for your ancestors hasn’t died.”  The deputy snorted at his pun and then went on.  “Iffen you do see that cow, call 911.  Mr. Thomas reported that one of his cows ran away.  Her name is Beulah but don’t call her by that name.  She hates it.  Just call us and we’ll finagle her back to the barn ‘cause if you try to force her, she’ll pee on you.  Mr. Thomas was trying to git her and she just plumb took off over yonder.”
            With that, the officer tipped his hat and wished us a good day.  My husband breathed a sigh of relief.  He wasn’t transporting drugs so I didn’t know why he was happy to see him leave.
            “I don’t want to be around when Beulah pees.”
            Understandable, but as a fellow female, I sympathized with the reticent cow.  Rural and urban ladies need a break from time to time. What gal doesn’t want to escape the confines of her home and children to get gussied up and have a night on the town or fields as in Beulah’s case? 
            We were leaving our last cemetery of the day and discussing the misfortune of Enoch McCollum who caught the measles and died during the War of Northern Aggression.  I glanced out the corner of my eye and saw a large spotted cow hiding in the kudzu.  She saw me, froze and stopped chewing her cud.  I knew that look better than Beulah.  Freedom if only for an hour is still freedom.  I slowly nodded in solidarity and Beulah quietly bowed back to be enveloped in the kudzu.
            All city and country girls have to stick together, don’t we?  Yep, loyalty and respect between girls till the cows come home.
About the author:

Visit Christy's blog for more fun stories! Click here to go to Having a Hissyknit.
Christy Breedlove has been writing snarky Facebook posts for some time and has made the transition to writing magazine articles.  She has lived in Walton County for 18 years with her very patient husband, two teen aged children and two lazy dogs. When she is not napping or ignoring housework, she likes to go geocaching, read and knit.