Same sleepy southern town.
Same sleepy time of day.
Sitting at the bottom of a long winding hill bordered by cow pastures and hay bales, mockingbirds and scissor tails swooping up insects for their dinners.
This time she watches as two cars drive up a long dirt road, catty cornered to where she is parked in her pick up truck.
Dust clouds swirl in the golden air, temporarily blocking out the road and covering the trees at the entrance to the road.
Her curiosity is stirred, but lazily. It’s just too hot to care much about what’s at the end of that road.
The sun continues to beat down on the pavement as it slowly sinks below the horizon.
She continues to wait for her passenger to arrive.
She can hear kids splashing and shrieking in the creek behind her, cooling off in the 103 degree heat, an occasional baritone mixing with the with high pitched squeals as a father reminds the children to be careful.
But the warning is gentle in its delivery.
They sound like they’re having a lot of fun.
More cars zoom by, and she wonders if she should be parked in the volunteer fire department’s parking lot, but then decides it’s okay as it’s the only place available to park in this tiny town.
As she waits, she wonders what it would be like to grow up in a small town such as this.
She would’ve taken the school bus to the nearest school instead of walking, her mom would’ve driven to the nearest town for a gallon of milk instead of biking or walking herself.
Her dad would’ve had a glorious vegetable garden, however, filled with tomatoes and pole beans, squash and zucchinis.
Zucchinis are too slimy for her taste.
She’s still imagining life in a small town when a biker appears in front of her truck.
He’s smiling and sweaty and hot, but he’s safe and sound after his long ride.
He’s happy despite the heat and the dust.
And that’s all that matters to her.