I love traveling out into the more rural areas around Columbia, South Carolina. It’s odd how fast civilization falls away just minutes outside the city. Even developing areas can surprise you. Around here you go from suburban sprawl, where you might pass a large shopping center only to suddenly hit a farm complete with pond, ducks, cows and rolling pastures. I like the sense that I’ve traveled back in time, or just traveled in general. It’s nice to get away from the noise of the highway that I live right next to, or the smell coming from the zoo in the afternoon!
My husband works in the middle of nowhere restoring classic cars. It’s near Pelion, SC… a little town called Salley. So little, the area is often referred to as Salley-Wagner, for the two small towns that dot Highway 302 and run so close together you’ve passed through both before you realize it! Sometimes I drive him to work in the morning just because I love the scenery he gets to pass every day. It reminds me of my childhood with my grandparents in the mountains of Pickens, South Carolina.
I used to go hunting with my grandfather as a child and there was something very meditative in quietly walking through the countryside, over mountains and through old cotton fields, stopping to eat our peanut butter saltines in an old gin. If we were lucky we’d find a spring coming out of the mountain where locals would hang a gourd to dip into the water and drink from. I miss the freedom of those childhood memories. The days stretched on endlessly, and nobody was stressed or running around frantically trying to find something before rushing out the door in the morning. We’d wake up to roosters crowing, well before and after dawn I might add. I used to joke that I was going to get them an alarm clock. There were chores to be done, like feeding the hunting packs or the herding dogs, chickens, goats, rabbits and whatever other animal their farm might be home to at that moment. But, there was just a slower movement in everything. No need to rush. Everything happened in its own time. We’d spend the early morning hours picking corn, greenbeans, blueberries and other crops, then head in for a nap after lunch. In the evenings I might skip up to a cousins house to swim or catch fireflies until my grandmother’s voice echoed across the mountains and I was called home to a bowl of cornflakes and bed.
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