Thursday, May 7, 2009

A Small Town in an Untamed Land

I got a call this morning from the UPS man in my in-laws' town in Mississippi. He didn't recognize the address on our Mother's Day gift to Steve's mom because the in-laws live on an unnamed dirt road "outside of town." Another funny thing about the call was that he seemed to know the last name, but was shocked that people with that last name lived "out there" and he didn't know about them. (My in-laws keep a low profile. My mother-in-law doesn't like people knowing her business.)

So I had to give him some directions.

Now, their corner of Mississippi, is, in my Yankee eyes, an untamed land. Example: Several years back, Steve and I spent an afternoon creeping around an abandoned mobile home that had belonged to his grandma's late cousin, Amy Katherine. Someone had clearly been squatting in the trailer after Amy Katherine's passing, as it was strewn with Rolling Rock ponies. And Amy Katherine was not the type. Also, the TV was gone, but most of her other belongings were tossed around the trailer. We found her address book -- it contained three addresses: her sister's, her son's, and her own. In the forest behind the trailer was ... the trailer she'd lived in before this one (completely collapsed) and several broken appliances. Behind the older trailer was ... a giant pile of bricks that was the house she'd grown up in. And in front of the newer trailer sat two broken down cars, one of which was full of garbage.

This was perhaps three years after Amy Katherine's demise. And now, about five years later, ALL of it has been overgrown by the forest, completely. You can't even tell that anyone ever lived there.

It's a wild, wild place.

So my directions went something like this:

"If you drive out of town past the Sugar Creek Quick Stop, you know that cell tower on the left?" He did. "Take a left just before the cell tower, and then drive down the dirt road for a mile or two. Pass the beaver dam on your right, and at the fork in the road, it's the white house with the red brick porch. It will probably have a lot of cats and a little black and white dog running around out front."

The best part was that from that description, he knew exactly the place I was talking about.


caramama said...

Awesome. And I thought my in laws lived way out in the country!

Bluebird said...

Oh wow. Wow.


But glad he was able to find her!

Brenna said...

I love towns like that! We used to address our cards to my grandpa as "Judge, Marion, VA" and they'd find their way to him. :)

areyoukiddingme said...

My aunt and uncle live out in the country, and while I can get to their house, there is no way I could give anyone comprehensible directions. My directions include such phrases as "turn left at the place where the Cardinal (gas) station used to be (um 20+ years ago). Then go past the place where the people who bought Grandma's trailer put it, and at the next road turn right." I was so sad when they actually got street addresses for that 911 information.

dcpeg said...

Loved this story! It's nice to know some people are still able to maintain privacy. I was glad to hear that the pile of bricks, trailer, trailer, trailer, broken appliances (did I get that right?)are covered with greenery. Guess kudzu has a reason for being afterall! ;-)