Rolling Hills, Winding Roads, and the Static In Between.

I drive these Pennsylvania country roads now. They are winding roads and they go up and down rolling hills. The roads cut their way through village after village and tiny town after tiny town. In fact, a lot of the tiny towns have town in the name. There are lots of Quakers, Mennonite Churchs, much larger Baptist churches, and signs- warning you of both horse-drawn buggies and deer.

In the village of Yellow House, at the center of town is oddly enough, a large yellow house.

There are a lot of farm houses that were built in the early 1800's, if not the mid to late 1700's, and renovated in numerous creative, albeit occasionally tacky ways since. Additions to houses are as popular as satellite dishes and slow down, you're driving too fast signs. But there are these big old farm houses- some in much better shape than others, while there are some that look to have been uninhabited for several years. Most are two stories, but some are two and a half stories and I'm very interested to see what the top floor of these houses look like. Are they a floor for ants? (rimshot)

I'm also intrigued by the idea that these houses have been around long before these roads were and I wonder what it must have been like, to see these roads having been built over time. A lot of these large farm houses are accompanied by a much larger barn and a few other buildings and they sit on what probably use to be, very nice pieces of land. I'd just be interested to know what it must have been like to see the world being built up, sparingly, but built up nonetheless, around your house.

There are Subways in almost every town and I can see why there are more of them in the world now than MacDonalds. Subways are sneaky bastards- sometimes they are tucked into the back corner of a town's only gas station. Dunkin' Donuts are starting to do that too.

No one working at any Dunkin' Donuts speaks English all that well- regardless of their nationality.

But these are the roads I drive now, having since retired from highways running up and down the Eastern Seaboard. There is only one highway for me now, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and it's expensive tolls and crafty cops hiding behind embankments, bridges, and tumbleweed. Mostly though, it's about the back roads- the roads where all the route numbers are way too close together- making it easy to get confused as to exactly what road you're on and what road you're looking for. There are new attractions- like the disappointing Country Junction- the "world's largest country store"- a title that was incredibly misleading because really, it's just a furniture store. It's a cool furniture store, but less cool when you walk in expecting something totally different. Heading out route 422, you come pretty close to Daniel Boone's birthplace and there is a sign pointing you towards the Daniel Boone Optimist Club- but that sounds boring. This time of year, the farm stands are starting to open up and if you were looking for Easter flowers, I could point you in the direction of one farm stand that is selling them cheap. They're just not open today. The mini golf course outside of Pricetown says it's opening on April 1st, but that could be a bust because of a) the weather and b) the potential of it being an April Fools joke.

These roads are roads through America- it's where it's apparently so much more America than wherever you live. It's where patriotism is a way of life, as are yard sales, church sales, and bake sales. It's big churches and lone taverns, dogs roaming front yards and horses roaming back yards. Radio stations come in and out with the up and down of the small hills that take away your breath momentarily- yes ma'ams my Dad used to call them.

Whether it's more America than America, I don't care. As long as the sky is clear of clouds, the sides of embankments clear of cops, and the roads clear of slow-moving tractors, I'll be good.

Giddy up, America. Now let's go take a three day weekend.

Go baseball.

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