Granny and I held hands as we always did and started our trek from her country home that sat off a back road in South Carolina, the ol’ South. The driveway that led from her house to the mailbox about a quarter mile away, which is why I hated to get the mail, was covered with gravel to keep it useable for old car tires and frustrated feet. When we got to the mailbox that had a little red flag on it that had to be raised if you wanted the mailman to take mail out of the box to be mailed, we made a left. I always thought that the flag was a nice idea. It was a kind of secret signal between me and the old lonely mailman; today he would be known as a mail carrier.

Once we made the usual left, we were on the big road, which was characteristically filled with red dirt. I suspected this road was about a half mile long. This was the same dirt road that Granddaddy had spotted me riding a bike on and warned me that something bad was going to happen to me. He never said what it was, but I just knew it had something to do with my being a girl. To this day, I still don’t know what was supposed to go wrong. Maybe it did; maybe it didn’t.

As we walked, once in a while, I’d stop and stare at the tadpoles swimming around in their personal pond on the side of the road. I didn’t think of it as a ditch that old cars sometimes got stuck in and had to be lifted out with the bare hands of several men. Granny waited patiently till I tired of looking at the tads.

Funny, we didn’t speak of love on our journey up the road, but her patience to wait while I appeared to be doing much of nothing made me feel loved.

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