Home Sweet Hues

     I went back home over the weekend. It is always good to go back home. It helps you to remember who you are, where you came from. People can be forgetful of the little things that make you appreciate just why you go back.

    For me, it was my dad’s birthday. My mom had decided to cook supper for him. And that meant one thing for my sister and me – we were coming by for dessert. We dropped off the ice cream cake, and off we went towards Duty Ferry.

     To get to the Relay Station you have to cross a ferry. Yes, it is a real working ferry. It costs nothing to cross it from the Columbia side, but it costs $1.00 to get back across it from the Harrisonburg side. But it is worth it.

     I love going there to the Relay Station. The food is great. But the atmosphere is phenomenal. They have a license plate on the wall for every state that has come through. They even have one from Brazil. And on the top of the wall and on the roof are political signs for who is running for office. It is fun to see who can remember that far back, listen to who won that race. Even people from surrounding tables will get in on the game, if you are too loud with it. You can get a whole history lesson just sitting there waiting to eat.

     When you look out the windows as you drive there and see areas that were once flooded, you see how there was a time of devastation, and time of rebuilding. Expansion has since taken its place after time and planning, under the work of the best leadership you could you find.

     Today, we find a breakdown in the economy. At the relay station, you walk in to a sign that says “Cash, check, or I Owe You.” That is when you know you have reached an area where a man’s word is still as good as his money.

     Today’s reality is the jobless rate struck 9% in August. Unemployment is at a battle with underemployment. Labor unions need job creations and extensions for the unemployed. Employees need tax credits and cuts on made payroll taxes. Everyone wants incentives to get America back into the workforce by spending.

     But Hurricane Irene has made her presence and we are back to where we once were before. Planning and rebuilding under strong leadership. I wonder if the Presidential speech on jobs will include something referring to what we can do to help those who have been hit hard by Irene.

     You know, when I go home, I notice things. It is nice to come back across the Duty Ferry and hear the whistle blow. It is nice to watch the river as you travel through what we call Sandy Bayou. And to wave at just about every passing car, and never knowing who they are. You do it, because you are friendly, and it is the customary thing to do.

But it was on this ride back that I leaned against the dash and watched the water as it passed. I watched the sun as it changed the various colors. Red, to orange, a darker shade to a lighter shade, and how the sun seemed to get closer and closer to the river as it made its descent for the evening. I know it sounds crazy. A sun doesn’t dip down towards water.

Well, where I come, it does. It comes so close it appears to slip right into the water, and disappear from the sky. This night, it left a red hue, then to a dull orange before it slowly slipped into the water. You probably don’t believe a sun would do that, and I wish I had a camera to show you, but too bad I am just a writer, not a photographer.

Published September 8, 2011, Ruston Daily Leader, The Park Bench

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