Holding Down The Fort …

DSC018024:00 A.M. good time to be up, “if you are a Bat.”

For all of you that are wondering, we were out on the Super Slab chasing all the boys with their bright shiny backdoors on their reefers, racing up and down the road in the Great American Southwest.  Which is now unfortunately just a glimmer of what it used to be.  Continue reading

Fortunate Pilgrim


Breakfast in New Mexico, The Land Of Enchantment.

This morning we find ourselves at the Flyin’ Hooker (Flying J Truck-stop) some 400 miles from the house in Tucumcari, New Mexico. Savoring a cup of coffee and taking note of my surroundings.  So far, I have discovered this.  Early morning coffee drinkers are a strange lot, some of us like it lukewarm and others piping hot. (Hey? That rhymes, I could be a poet and didn’t know it)  Now I ask you, can life get any better?  Fast food joints, breakfast in the morning, sleeping in the back of the parking lot in a truck-stop.


For the most part, the joint is empty, a couple of freight hauling truckers sitting at the counter, two young kids in a booth, who seem to be “all over each other.” I study them intently, she has black lipstick, black fingernails, jewelry everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. It is in her ear, her nose, a spot above her eyebrows is pierced.

A picture of loveliness.  Every Mother’s pride and joy.

Now her not so apparent non-virginal counterpart, he is much the same, hair is askew, lip pierced, ear ring, and BOTH eyebrows have shiny appendages sticking out of them. I think to myself, “this kid is ripe for marriage, he is ready to go.”

He has endured pain and he has already bought jewelry.

Owning a bus makes life a little bit more interesting and somewhat better. It affords me the luxury of being able to get out and away from all those things in life that manage to drag me down.  It takes my mind off this ugly rash in my left armpit and the nation’s economy.  I have no Late Breaking … Live … Local Headlines to contend with, no cable bill, no sorry political viewpoint to consider on my television.  I have no user screen name or password retrieval issues to face this day … I am fine with the world.

Strangely I find myself riding a gentle wave of adventure this day. I have the road calling to me and some free time to answer up.  Don’t get me wrong, life in El Reno, Oklahoma is good.  But on the whole, at least today, I find that I would rather be somewhere else, somewhere far, far away.

The sun cracks the horizon and morning arrives.  Wrapped tight in my private thoughts, I hardly take notice.  Over in the corner of the parking lot I hear my Pig Iron Pony idling and I sense he is chomping at the bit, he is ready to run and I am to some extent, ready myself.  Daddy’s Hobby and his turbo charged big horses, want to get out and register a few serious miles.  I am obligated to oblige, droppin’ a couple of singles on the table I head out to the parking lot.

Today we will be westbound and down, “six on the floor and the other one out the dog-gone door, hammered down.” Our reserved spot in the fast lane waits for us.  Tomorrow this place will be just a faint memory.

Life is good … I am a fortunate Pilgrim indeed.


Possibly Related: Life Is Good Troubadour

North On Seventy-Four

An easy day today, not a whole lot on my plate. Took an old chair and leaned it up against the wall, listened to the Turtle Doves singing their mournful song in the trees. A time to reflect, on the lazy hazy days of summer.  Spring just around the corner.

A prime candidate for Cabin Fever, I am ready for the summer season, bring it on.  Big winter storm moving in this weekend, some of it today, one more to suffer thru and perhaps it is the last.

Not all that bad this year, it has been cool and it has been nice. Like I said … A little time to sit on the front porch and watch the world roll by. Reflect, mull it over. God has been so good to me. He gives me enough peace and tranquility, time to myself, and my mind can make trips that no amount of high-priced gasoline can stop.

On some days, that is what it is all about.

The American Economy and my spending habits may have relegated me to a life of quiet desperation on the front porch, but it cannot close the borders of my mind. In my mind, there are trips yet untold. In my mind, I can go all I want, and it doesn’t cost one thin dime to head on down that road.

Today I am driving north on Highway Seventy-Four, up that old torn, well driven, worn two lane which harbors those old white wheat elevators in Crescent, Oklahoma, how they stood like ships upon the plain. I am remembering how it was, when I was ten years old, that I thought they were truly the biggest things I had ever seen.

That was before Aircraft Carriers and Viet Nam.

All the mysteries of life, a young heart yearned to discover. Stealing off and skinny-dippin down at the Cimarron River, if mama ever knew, the lickin I would have received. Special days and times, now so precious to me.

Old tin roof, leaves in the gutter. Yellow jackets on the watermelon, honey-suckle in the air, Daddy turning on the sprinkler, letting us run thru it in our underwear. Falling asleep in my Grandpa’s lap, to the sound of his pocket watch ticking in his vest. Angel Food Cake on the counter and a silver fork in my hand.

Learning to drive in a wheat-field full of stubble, shifting gears and using a clutch. Ice cold Grapetts at the Co-Op at the north end of town, beside the railroad depot, now long gone. Fried chicken dinners, ice tea, and fresh picked strawberries for lunch. Riding an old popper, a John Deere to city folks.

Keeping an eye on the furrow and plowing straight, long after the sun has set and into the night. Burning drip-gas in the old pickup, laying a strip of rubber on the asphalt. Secretly stealing a kiss in the balcony on Saturday night.

The noise of an old freight rattling thru town, the sound the train whistle made late in the night. Years later, after decades of time, it would be my hand on that whistle cord, making a living out on the branch line. It would be me riding thru town in the late hours with a string of empties and a little red hack on the end.

Working Oklahoma hot summers, in air so thick with humidity, you could cut it with a knife, barefoot days that seemed to go on and on forever, seemingly to never end. Perhaps I am remembering this all wrong, but, life seemed to be better way back then.

Early morning … Sittin’ on the porch, almost April, trying to work it all out.

All those days, part of my faded past, now a treasure in my minds eye. If life was a classroom and love was just a lesson, I would like to have to stay there, until I finally got it right. Rollin’ north on Highway Seventy-four. There’s a blacktop road, with a faded yellow centerline.

It can take you back to the place, but it can’t take you back in time.