Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tales Of The Rural

Shitfire, y'all know what's going on here as well as I do.
Beautiful day.
Chickens want out.
Light is abundant and amazing.


Lily and Owen may be going to see my mother today. Lily hinted that I might want to go too.
I don't want to go anywhere today.

Dang, those chickens are noisy. Okay. I'll go let 'em out.

I did. Mabel is sitting on the nest and the rest are ready to rock and roll. My next door neighbor, Ms. Fleur, left me a message yesterday telling me that the chickens were in the bamboo behind her house and was a bit worried that they wouldn't find their way home but of course they did. They encircle the entire yard, somehow knowing what our boundaries are. We have a very odd-shaped lot here. It's T-shaped and extends in wings behind Ms. Fleur's house and behind the church next door. I do not know why, but that's the way it is. And the chickens seem to recognize this and happily scratch from one end to the other and then come home at night to their roost which is approximately at the top center of the T.

Speaking of churches, a woman called to get directions to the house during the shooting two weekends ago. For some reason, if you try to get directions to this house on GPS or google maps or map quest, it sends you off in the wrong direction. I like this. I find it charming. But people do get lost. I was trying to figure out where she was so I asked her for landmarks.
"I'm right next to a little church," she said.
That was completely non-helpful. There are at least a dozen little churches within a three-mile radius of this house. She might as well have told me she was next to a tree. Or a dog. I could probably have located her more closely, in fact, if she had been next to a dog and could describe him.
I am not even kidding you.

During the outdoor shooting on the Friday that Freddy was here, traffic seemed ridiculous. We soon realized that the same five cars were driving by over and over again. Look- there's not that much to do in Lloyd on a Friday afternoon. People making a movie was BIG DOIN'S! I completely understand this. The city-folk did not quite get it. They thought it was annoying and hysterical. Then the Tractor Guy went by.
Tractor Guy is a local fellow who has had too many DUI's to legally operate a car so he drives to the truck stop to get his beer on his tractor. This probably isn't legal either, so he goes really fast. He's a rather strange looking guy. White hair, beard, and he leans forward in the tractor seat as if to propel the tractor even faster, pulling it with the weight of his intention to get where he's going.
The City Folk couldn't believe this story. "Really?" they asked when I explained what was going on. "Is that legal?"
"Nah. Probably not."
They shook their heads in wonder.
The wonder is that Tractor Guy is still alive. We hadn't seen him for years and thought he might be dead. But he's not. Another Lloyd miracle.

See, I grew up in a tiny village which was about the same size as Lloyd. Okay, maybe it was a little bigger. I don't know. But we had a tractor-driving guy there, too. His name was Chester. He didn't drive a tractor because of DUI's. He drove a tractor because he was so far off the grid that it would have been impossible to get a driver's license. I have written about Chester before. The first time I ever saw him, I was a very young child- probably about six years old. This was in 1960 or so and the man I saw on the tractor had long, long black hair and a beard. The only man I knew in those pre-Beatle days with long hair and a beard was Jesus Christ

(Chester looked just like this except Chester didn't wear robes and he probably wouldn't have touched a child if his life depended on it. He wouldn't even look at them. And he scowled all the time.)

and I for sure thought that the man I was watching drive his tractor down the one paved road in my little town had to be Him. To further the theory, there was a crowd of children and dogs following behind the tractor. Chester was a popular hermit.
I thought it was the Second Coming and ran in to inform my mother.
"Oh, that's just Chester," she said.
Sometimes Chester would come around to sell turnip greens door-to-door. Dude had to make some money I guess. I know that he and his dog ate peanuts and coca-colas from Joy's store because I saw him. He would let the dog drink from the bottle. I saw that too. It was awesome. So he needed money for the peanuts and the cokes, right?

Anyway, I suppose what I'm saying here is that I was raised from a young age to realize that not everyone fits a mold. And quite frankly, I like living in a place where a lot of these non-mold-fitters live. I feel comfortable in such a place. At home. A place where not-fitting-in (a feeling I've always had) is, in fact, the best way to fit in.

All right. I better go take a walk. I think that when people in Lloyd talk about me, if they do, they probably describe me as that white woman who walks. When I first moved here, I couldn't get through a walk without having at least one vehicle stop and ask me if I needed a ride. No one does this any more. They know me. They just wave that one up-raised-hand-over-the-wheel wave. I raise my hand and wave back.

My walking probably makes less sense than Tractor Guy's desperate runs for beer. Especially in the summer when I look like as if I might explode like an over-ripe tomato.

I guess that'll do it for now. Y'all have a good day wherever you are and I'll have a good day right here in Lloyd, Florida. It's a beautiful day and I am happy to be right here where google maps can't find me but everyone else can.


  1. We have a couple of tractor guys here also, and GPS and Google maps can't even find us. Sometimes life is good my dear white walking woman.

  2. yes, I like non-fitting-in places too, only I don't seem to fit into them or the fitting-in places...what are ya gonna do? But I do sort of feel that I fit in here, hope you don't take that as an insult..

    And I do love dried cherries too and the Lantana in the picture up there is one of my fav. flowers, love the scent !

    I'm happy you're right there too and I can find you. Have a beautiful day yourself :)

  3. We have big tractor guys here who still farm and aren't drunk to my knowledge. And there are lots of churches on this little island. It is a cool place.

  4. Jesus on a tractor... yea! I swear I saw Santa Clause on a chopper one day coming home from Grass Roots. The wind in his white hair and beard... his plaid shirt waiving like a flag behind him. He was smiling.

    Love it.

    (It seems I originally posted this on the Billy post.. oops!) I love Billy!

  5. Rubye Jack- Seems impossible that GPS can't find us. It won't last forever.

    Liv- Perhaps that is exactly what I have tried to create here. A place where some of us finally feel that we fit in. So your words make me very happy. Thank-you.

    Syd- Oh, here too. Of course. But you don't have a Drunk Tractor Guy? Maybe you have a Drunk Golf Cart Guy. Or a Drunk Riding Lawn Mower Guy. Or perhaps not at all. I think you must live in a beautiful place.

  6. What a packed and wonderful post. I couldn't stop reading, even though I should be doing 100 other things. Great stories... the dog landmarks, tractor-Jesus. Brilliant!

  7. I just love coming here to visit. And I never get lost. It's like home to me.

  8. Jo- I like this one. I don't know why. The dog thing did make me chuckle but it's completely true. As is every bit of it.

  9. ...and I used to ride a horse whose owner shared coca cola with him, from the (glass) bottle. Only on his (the horse's) birthdays, though.

  10. Oh my god, I might have to move to Lloyd.
    I'd drive a golf cart not a tractor. And I'd have a pack of dogs.
    When I first moved into my condo complex--which I think of as Beige World, one of my new neighbors tactfully (sort of) told me that my walking of my dogs at all hours of the day and night made the people in the neighborhood think I was a homeless lady.
    Now they just think I'm weird, have a frequent overnight guest, and travel a lot.

  11. Elizabeth- It's so easy to get here. Just disregard what the GPS's say.

    A- He had a huge influence on me. Far more than any preacher.
    Yes, of course, the glass bottles. There were no coke cans then.

    Denise- And they can go and kiss your ass. In Lloyd, I am accepted, not just tolerated.

  12. Oh, we had a tractor guy here in Kalamazoo too, although he only drove the lawnmower in winter (and sometimes attached a long board to plow the road, which was off the radar of the city being a poor road and in a bad part of town, when the snow got real high. In the summers he'd drive a homemade scooter that he'd painted a bright cherry red.

    He had terrific eyebrows, and wore overalls and had a yard chock full of lawn ornaments and not a square inch of lawn that didn't have a gnome, angel, cement rabbit. He once saved me from a marauding pit bull who attacked me and my two dogs, by whacking the hell out of it with a two by four and then apologizing for not putting his teeth in.

    Living in the fancy suburbs we don't have a tractor man.

    But I am getting chickens. You're my inspiration.

  13. I dig Chester and Tractor Guy. I am more comfortable around the non-mold-fitters, myself.

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  15. Well, maybe Chester WAS Jesus and Jesus is Chester. The divine lives in all of us, but especially those who appreciate the brevity of coke and peanuts.

    Once, when I was about six, my mom took me to get my haircut at the Fantastic Sam's in the mall. There was a man with long, chestnut brown hair at the desk in front of us. When the receptionist asked his name, he said, "Jesus". Without the typical Spanish-language pronunciation Hey-Zeus. The guy had long dark hair and olive skin! I thought for sure it was Him. For sure.


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