Mini–road trip

J and I saw some lovely bucolic scenes on our drive up through North Carolina and Virginia this past week. Lone clapboard houses sitting out on wide-open fields, with the adults' cars and the kids' bikes crowded near the house, the way children cling to their mom's leg when they're feeling cautious but curious. I wondered what it would be like to live like that, with no neighbors near. No one near, except for the people passing in their cars on the quiet two-lane road that was threaded through this particular stretch of rural-dom.

Most all of the houses we passed had front porches, and most all of those porches—even the slimmest, most meager of them—had chairs in them. It was late afternoon when we were driving through, and we went by a few homes where people were sitting outside. Their front door would be open, and they'd be out on the chairs, usually those cheap plastic patio chairs, talking and regarding the sky, which was a bruised shade of blue. It was going to storm soon.

We went through some small towns, too. Places with beautiful, archetypal small-town-America architecture. Red brick, white stucco, Art Deco flourishes. Department stores that seemed unchanged in the past 60 or 70 years. Stores advertising things like ascots and one that proudly proclaimed itself Towel Town.

I took a bunch of pictures with my iPhone. A few examples…


And a slideshow…