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Last weekend, I made my annual autumn trip to Western Kentucky.
By the time I reached Owensboro, an Ohio River town close to my father’s roots, it was late afternoon.
My longtime friend Greta was comfortably seated in an Adirondack chair on the covered side porch, busily working on an editing project and sipping tea. A light breeze rustled the branches of a crape myrtle beside the porch, gently sifting the light and shadow that played on the wall beside Greta.
“Ignore the clutter,” Greta said as we moved into the house — only because the mosquitoes that were oblivious to her had found me and called in their kin with promises of a feast. (My legendary mosquito magnetism will be the basis for another column on another day.)
Greta and I have known each other since college. We don’t let the little things get in the way of our friendship.
Ignoring the clutter was easy. We had much to catch up on and dinner plans to make. And breakfast plans, so we went shopping for good bacon while we were out getting dinner.
We ate some fine pizza and talked, but soon it became apparent by my yawns that I wasn’t going to be up for any late-night conversation.
Greta gave me the upstairs bedroom, and I was asleep before I had time to think.
In the morning, I woke up and remembered why I am so fond of Greta’s well-built little house. Morning light streamed in upstairs, clean and fresh, and made rising — and shining — feel like a blessing.
It was how mornings ought to feel.
Downstairs, Greta ground coffee and set about making a breakfast that couldn’t be beat.
We’d made all kinds of plans — I was to help her hang pictures, we were going to take a little local photo safari — but in the end, we chucked our plans.
We did a little shopping and otherwise just hung out.
When it was time to go, I felt refreshed and ready to enjoy the four-hour trip back to East Tennessee.
I’d forgotten how pretty Western Kentucky is, especially the two-lane backroads — the kind of traveling I like best.
As day transitioned into night, what would soon become the harvest moon emerged and guided me home through the silvery darkness.
I felt settled and grounded as my tires gently hummed over the asphalt.
It was good to get away, but as I headed east, all I could think about was how good it would be to get back home.