Monday, October 14, 2013

The Dirt Road,Chapter 5~~A Short Story By Randy Mantovani




The hot summer days of July and August were stifling on Ferry Road. When the wind blew dust filled the humid air cover everything in a layer of dirt that changes the color of most houses a murky shade of brown and made all cars the same color. Children seemed oblivious to the heat and the dust playing outdoors for hours at a time. Men went tended to the fields or worked on equipment without complaint.

The only one that seemed to complain was me. Being a relative new comer to The Road I seemed to suffer alone venturing out of my air conditioning only when absolutely necessary.

Every few days a water truck would drive the road spraying water to help keep the dust down. The children rode their bikes or ran behind the truck getting covered in water that would soon turn to mud as the road dried and they once again became dust covered. This reminded me of my own childhood growing up in New Jersey. The mosquito spraying truck would come by in the early evenings and all the kids would run behind the spray breathing in the vapors like it was the odor of fresh baked bread. We never suspected that we were breathing in poison. Either did our parents who seemed to cheer on this activity from our front porches.

My childhood memories always flashed before me on The Road. From the water truck to the ice cream vendor that came every day I found myself reliving my life through these children.

Mid August local high school football practice started and the boys who were in the fields all summer added that to their daily routines. Two a day practices added to a full’s days farm work. These young men amazed me with their work ethic. The girls got involved with cross country running, cheer leading and band. Everyone’s days seemed to be extended by many hours to allow them to accomplish all that was to be done.

I watched them drag themselves into their homes each night, eat dinner, and still have the strength to finish up the rest of their chores. I was like watching an updated, and real, version of ‘Little House On The Prairie’.

 Life around the Duffy house contradicted the vision of the easy and slow rural life. Things always seemed to be moving at a rapid pace. The farm work, school, church activities and everyday tasks filled their days. They seemed to move at the speed of light seamlessly moving form activity to activity.

The restoration of the old Hunt house was almost finished and with Alex home in a couple of months wedding planning was added to the list of things to accomplish. Cheyenne was busy putting her own personal touch on the house she would probably spend the rest of her life.

Her and Alex’s future was set and she was walking on air.

A sense of contentment seemed to surround the Duffy family and all of Ferry Road. I had finally found a home among real people.

Life was getting better.


PS.. Sorry I did not get this out on Saturday. Have been off my game for a few days.

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