May 22 • 05:53 PM

Music of time & travel

August 09, 2017
Since the dawn of my empty nest, I've traveled "home" to Kentucky and back every summer. I coveted this time alone—until last year. During my return, I fought road fatigue and determined it's dangerous to drive solo any longer.

My husband took the wheel last Wednesday. As he turned onto I-75's detour, WRCJ featured the Beatles Concerto composed by John Rutter.

"Isn't that Long and Winding Road?" he asked.

"Yes, one of my favorites. Who wrote this beautiful song?"

"I think George Harrison."

The words of John Lennon and Paul McCartney spoke of our youth before and when we met, our unsettled college days and as newlyweds with our firstborn child. We moved our residence six times the first year of our marriage.

He turned off the expressway at a Cracker Barrel sign. The man in the rocking chair means a meal of turnip greens, pinto beans, and cornbread—southern food at its best with the works: vinegar, chow-chow, and onions.

The featured dessert was a S'More Brownie in keeping with the chain's campfire theme. We postponed our dessert for the return trip. Oh, how pampered is the modern traveler.

After breakfast the next morning with Uncle Tab and Aunt Alma Leigh, we followed Uncle Tab to his garden.

"Now, pull only the full beans," my uncle said. "And the yeller ones are good, too."

We sat poolside in the shade and strung half a bushel of beans. Afterward, we blanched and froze ten quarts.

"I want you to take five bags home," he said. "Now, I've got ten minutes of hoeing to do."

Really? Does this man ever rest? I picked up a hoe and learned his meaning of "hoeing:" pull the hoe along a row of sprouted beans, banking the soil over the small weeds and leaving a trench to hold the rain.

When we visited my Uncle Herm the following day, I saw the same method behind the word "hoeing." We left his gardens with cucumbers, cantaloupe, and potatoes.

The last of my heart's desire was to view again The Breaks forested canyon, the boundary between Virginia and Kentucky, and hike the trails within the mountains. It had been years since I'd walked through their rocky notches.

As Mel led the way, my Kentucky sister, Patty, and I followed under the dark canopy alive with birdsong. When we reached the road, the wild child within and the native grounds about provoked the Tarzan yodel from my youth. Hikers replied.

As we neared Detroit last evening on I-75, WRCJ's Jack Goggin introduced a song from Patrick Doyle's soundtrack of Shakespeare's Henry V.

Mel and I sat spellbound as a lone voice led a song titled "Non Nobis, Domine." Other male voices joined to a moving crescendo.

Dear Reader, the English translation to the Latin lyrics of "Non Nobis, Domine" are, "Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but to thy name give the glory."

For all the music during our travels, for our safe journey home, to Thy name give the glory.

Email Iris at

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