Hot sultry nights, the steady chirp of the cricket and gravel roads are all things that remind me of my childhood trips to Grandma’s house in Nebraska. The three day car ride from Massachusetts to Nebraska every summer seemed endless to me and I’m sure to my Dad, who never really seemed to answer the question that I would whine every 10 minutes of “how many more miles,” it seemed even longer. Although we would be in Nebraska for many miles to me it wasn’t Nebraska until we hit the gravel road that would bring us “home” to Grandma’s. The old gravel road has been black topped for many years but there are still many gravel roads in the area so I purposely take the back way from Wilcox to Hildreth just so I can go down the gravel road and travel back in time to those special feelings of coming to see Grandma. I continue to visit my Grandparents, only now there are no big hugs, no endless kisses and no one that makes a fuss over us like Grandma did. After I catch them all up on the happenings it’s hard to hold the tears in because even after some 30 years I still miss them.
Life seems to be changing all the time – if only we could slow it down some. As I drive through town I am saddened to see that so many of the buildings now sit empty. The library where Grandma worked is now a hair solon and the old IGA store appears to be a gift shop. The only businesses there now are the Municipal Building and the Bank. It seemed so odd to see only one car parked on the street. As I continue my travels I find that more and more of the small towns that I was familiar with are the same way. Buildings sitting empty and left to nature makes me wonder if the way of the small town is gone for good