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ANOTHER DAY IN THE COUNTRY:   Giving thanks for lines

© Another Day in the Country

I took the trash out to the curb for pick-up this afternoon and gave thanks for the truck that rattles through town before daybreak on Tuesday mornings to pick up my trash.

I drove out of Ramona the other evening and headlights on a car flashed ahead of me.

“Lines!” I said right out loud even though there was no one else in the car. “We’ve got lines!”

I laughed. There were white lines on each side of the road running ahead into the night, like two arms sheltering, showing the way. There were bright yellow dashes down the middle of the road, too.

“Wow! We have lines.”

Ramona does well to have roads that are drivable to get us where we are attempting to go; but this summer Quail Creek Road was resurfaced. I think everyone in town drove around with a smile for a few days afterward. We were no longer dodging potholes on that stretch of county road.

Living in the country, we’ve pretty much gotten used to driving on roads without a line down the middle saying, “This is your half.” We know where the ditch is because we’ve done without white lines on the outside edges of the road saying, “This is where the road stops.” For sure, we’ve done without the lines telling us, “It’s not safe to pass.”

And now we have lines. We no longer drive out of Dickinson county on a dark night and find ourselves on our own, navigating the last couple of miles to Ramona. We have lines! I especially like the ones that come over the railroad tracks and follow the curve onto Quail Creek as you drive out of town.

No more excuses for “middle of the road” driving. We’ve been reminded that we only have rights to half of the road. The Big G — government — that so often is grumbled about in even polite society — is doing its job: Taking care of things. Most of the time they do it without our even asking and most likely without a thank you. It’s just their job!

It’s another day in the country and time to give thanks.

“Thanks for picking up the trash” and, “Thanks for keeping those electrical lines humming.”

And to the department that tries to keep the roads drivable, “Thanks a lot for those lines.”

We all know what it looks like when trash isn’t picked up, when it gets tipped over, when it blows through town, accumulates against fences, and gets caught in the tall weeds along the road. Just the simple act of walking the trashcan to the edge of the driveway is a clarifying move. I can take a deep breath and release it all, start a new project, clean out a different closet, tackle another life lesson.

Trash even accumulates on my computer and here it gets emptied by electronic pulses, vanishing miraculously.

Water on my bathroom floor appeared mysteriously a couple of months ago. I threw towels down and tried to figure out where it was coming from. Was something broken? Had something frozen? Was something clogged? Turned out there was something clogging the sewer line so we called in the experts.

Meanwhile, I’m reduced to my grandma’s era without running water. Most everything stopped. There were no clothes getting cleaned, no dishes getting washed, no toilets being flushed. I was dramatically forced back to the basics of carrying out that water. Nothing unpleasant, soiled or eliminated miraculously disappeared any longer.

Things appearing or disappearing miraculously on a regular basis are the very things that become ignored and taken for granted.

“It’s just the way things are,” we shrug, or, “It’s the way it has always been.”

However, someone put those things in place for our convenience. Somebody is working every day to keep it all in working order.

Last modified Nov. 8, 2018

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