Monday, November 17, 2008

Road Trip

Had someone taken a picture of me on Saturday evening when I finally pulled into my driveway, I imagine it would have resembled this gal. I don't know if she had been on the Interstate for twelve hours or not, but I sure felt like we shared some similar experience. I decided last Monday to leave and travel to Mississippi to have a little piece of land surveyed. It has been over thirty years since I was first shown the boundary lines by my late grandfather. I left on Tuesday morning and travelled to the vicinity of Alexandria, LA to visit a friend and fellow conservative who wanted to vent on the political happenings in our nation. His wife was out of town on business, so we commiserated late into the night. I felt better for having had our little session, and left early the next day to relocate my little piece of heaven. I travelled the back roads of middle Louisiana and crossed the big river at Natchez, MS. The sun sets earlier in this part of the world, and I arrived at my location as it was going down. The next morning I drove my little red Jeep into the deep woods of South Mississippi and crossed Red Creek on the old City Bridge. I used to swim and fish here when I was a boy.

The hardwood trees showed a little fall color, and the tea colored water was as clear as I'd ever seen it. I stood on the bank and marvelled at the quietness. I met the survey crew at the assigned location and watched as they found and marked corners to use in their calculations. They marked the eastern boundary of the property and set out to hack their way through the brush for a quarter mile to the western side.

The blue dot on the line is the shoulder of one of the crew members who was hacking away with a machete through vines and over dead falls. I waited until they had completed the southern line and decided to walk through and see exactly where my property ended. The temperature was on the mild side of warm, but once I got my eighth of a ton moving it seemed to rise rapidly. Sharp spikes rose from the ground where saplings had been cut, large spiders put sticky webs in my way at eye level, and the remnants of dead trees felled by hurricane Katrina angled across the path. I stumbled along with my shoulders bent to avoid tangles of vines, some with large thorns, attached to almost every tree. My heart was pounding and sweat poured from my forehead. My boots felt like robot shoes. At some point, my left boot became entangled in some vines. My dynamo tried to push my girth forward, but one balance point was now trapped behind me and there was no stopping the impending wreck. My right foot tried valiantly to hop its way back into balance, but alas it failed. I raised my right hand and grabbed at a large vine I caught in my peripheral vision. It had thorns on it the size of medium sized nails, and I ripped off the ones embedded in the pads on the inside of my fingers. I fired my retro rockets and pushed off to the edge of the line to avoid the punji sticks directly ahead of me. The thud of my landing seemed to move something deep in the earth. I clamored to my feet and pulled the remnants of thorns from my hand and made for the little lane that runs down to my grandads old house. I walked slowly down the road, caught my breath and calculated what first aid equipment I might need when I got back to my jeep. Nothing in the kit for wounded pride. The thorn pricks would hurt for two days or so and abate, so I just drank some water and went into town for some good old Southern comfort food.

I now know where my property lies in relation to the sun's axis, and I reacquainted myself with friends and relatives in the area. My mission complete, I awoke at 2:30 AM and set out for Texas. Twelve and a half hours later I was home.

So this is how liberty dies. With thunderous applause. - George Lucas