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A day made for traveling

May 22: It was a storybook spring day with plenty of sunshine, cloudless skies and temperatures in the low to high 70s. A strong breeze rustled fresh green leaves and carried the sweet smells of honeysuckle blooms and freshlybaled hay. 

It was the kind of day when you’d like to climb into a hammock under a big oak tree and spend the day doing nothing.  

Geanell and I, however, had a different mission in mind. We were going to make a fast trip to Barfield Baptist Church in Clay County, where we were going to clean off the gravesite of her parents and place a floral arrangement in their memory for Decoration Day. 

At 10 a.m. we left our house and headed east.  

“Highway 36 is closed,” Geanell reminded me before we reached Interstate 65. “We’ll either have to detour or choose a different route.  

“We’ll take the back way through Eva to reach Highway 278,” I replied and quickly headed south on Interstate 65.  

The next 30 miles were familiar to us. We’d seen the same attractive farmhomes, dwellings in disrepair and closed businesses on our last trip through the area. What jarred our attention the most were potholes in the two-lanes and bumps on the bridges.  

We got off our route in Fairview when we made a left turn on an unmarked highway before reaching Highway 278. After going through Baileytonwe realized we were in Marshall County instead of Blount County.  

In Arab, we used Highway 431 to reach Highway 278.  

We reached our destination two hours later, after losing about 40 minutes of travel time. 

After 30 minutes at the cemetery, we headed home with a different route in mind. We simply by-passed Highway 36 by driving to Cullman and using Highway 31 to reach Hartselle.  

We can look back and see that our mis-directions didn’t erase “a day made for traveling;” they simply reminded us that Morgan County is not alone when it comes to stately homes, dilapidated dwellings and shuttered commercial buildings. 

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