We traveled "down home" recently where my husband's ancestors have resided for the past 150 years. We went there to gather the family together -- two of his brothers and their descendants and his cousins to help celebrate his 60th birthday. For those who were able to come, we thank you. We had a lovely time reminiscing.
And during our traveling to and fro, I was thinking of when his grandparents were alive and living in the tenant farm house on the land they inherited when Grandpa's former landlord and lady passed. We drove to it and stopped and walked around the property for a moment to stretch legs and let the dog race around, having a sniffing good time while we were there.
When my hubbin and I were newly married, we decided we needed a weekender "down home" to visit his grandparents. In those days, his family -- dad, mother, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins visited quite often, at least once a month, so it wasn't unusual to find them all down and crowded into the house. It was just a matter of putting dibs on a bed so we'd have a place to sleep.
While we were there, we decided to spend an romantic afternoon shopping in the capital city some 30 miles away. The weatherman had predicted snow which wasn't to begin until later that evening, so not to be deterred, we left early in the day, going down the back roads, across a cement low water bridge with a trickle of water running across it from the creek, and through an almost vanished village to the highway. We didn't leave the city until the white flakes began drifting down and then suddenly anxious, my husband decided we better get back to his grandpa's.
As we turned off the highway, going down the same back roads we had traveled earlier in the day and over the crest of the last steep hill sloping down towards the creek we had crossed earlier in the day, we nearly had a head-on with a huge bull jogging towards us. Now in the country, it's not unusual to find cattle in the roads and you carefully drive around them and go on, then report it to the farmers round and let them go pick up their errant one. Because this was on a somewhat slippery gravel slope, we skidded down towards him, intent on going round him, but he was having none of it. He blocked us at every turn of the wheel. Only when we came to a complete stop, did he run around our car and disappear up the hill behind us. It was getting dusky gray by that time and we slowly rolled down to cross the creek. I sincerely believe that bull was sent to protect us, because when we arrived at where the bridge had been, the trickle had become a five foot deep raging river. The cement could not even be seen under all that dark churning, foaming water, only the two roads leading out of it on either side. We could have easily have been swept away in our little chevette had we hit that water.
It took us two hours to turn our small car around and creep back up the hill. The bull was nowhere to be seen when we finally made it back up to the hill top and no broken down fence along that stretch of road either. Fortunately, there was a blacktop further down the highway that we could take to go round to his grandparents from the other side. They were really worried about us and scolded us for not stopping to call them to let them know we were leaving the city. This was in the days before mobile phones and we were thoughtless. I'm just thankful we made it back to the safe arms of the family home and hadn't taken a cold dip that day! Brrr! I thank the Lord for his goodness and protection!