I recently ran across a poster suggesting life’s best memories were made at locations off of dirt roads.

That provocative opinion mandated my experiential reflection. I immediately focused on the numerous dirt roads here in Middle Tennessee. There would be a lifetime’s worth of memories for the folk in our area who have enjoyed a tremendous history.

In the inner recesses of my mind, I reflected upon innumerable winding dirt roads, beside tobacco fields and old barns. In addition, there are many old dirt roads leading to pioneer homesteads and the well-worn paths on the regional hillsides of the adjacent Cumberland plateau. The farms, homes, and fields are all connected with an old dirt road, a country mile away.

I must confess ... old dirt roads have led many of us to happy places. Memories abound as we travel miles of dusty roads to destinations that have bred love, family, and happy memories. Life, legend and legacy were built off of old dirt roads

Oral histories and photographs document the folklore of life along the old country road. Most certainly, the legends grow with time.

There was a time in our nation that all roads were made of dirt.

Dirt roads were traversed by beasts and buggies. Typically, the roads were difficult to travel upon. The weather had a major impact on dirt roads as rainfall, snow, and landslides made transportation hazardous. Oftentimes, the pioneer living deep in the country would have to wait until spring to journey to the nearest community for procurement of necessities.

When there weren’t any roads, horses, wagons or sleighs would carry passengers to their destinations over rivers, mountain passes, and through forests. The pioneer would sojourn amidst every peril. They would do all they could to protect their precious cargo against bandits and native enemies.

The challenges abounded. The dangers lurked around every corner. Travel was treacherous. A country road was a welcome avenue for travel.

The farm built off of old dirt roads had paths that were most often passed from generation to generation. The family was the moral fabric of a new nation. It was their work ethic that forged our country. Their character was the backbone borne off of the dirt road.

Families were happy, loyal and rich in generational tradition.

God, and family honor, were vehemently defended. The unwavering grit of the pioneer was found along an old country road.

Upon further reflection, I long for the life built along the old dirt roads of yesterday.

We conclude that life was difficult in a bygone age, lacking modern conveniences, but life was significant and satisfying. The folk I talked to from yesteryear all testified that they wouldn’t exchange it for anything found in the city. The old days with the old ways were a blessed way of life with few regrets. Life along the old country road made its impact.

Let us enjoy a ride on to an old dirt road soon. Let us roll down the windows of our vehicle and listen to the sounds that cannot be found anywhere else in our world. May we also look upon the old fields and farm homes that were once bustling with activity. Yes, life’s best memories at locations off of dirt roads.

Have a great week, and remember, God loves you.

Contact Jon by emailing IMPACThought@gmail.com. Reach Jon Shonebarger at jtshonebarger@gmail.com.

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