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The Compass Commute

Posted by on January 29, 2019 at 11:50 AM

The Compass Commute

Meanderings of the Mind of a Mom


Nanette Heckler, Creative Writing Teacher

I ask the same questions every Wednesday while surveying the transportable homeschooling auto in anticipation of the 50-minute run. Locked door? Check. Back pack? Check. Bow? Check. Boots and socks? Check. I have his protein-rich breakfast on the dashboard and water in the beverage holder. Coffee for me in the other one. We are off.

We pass that Swiss chalet with a manicured golf course lawn. It screams pretentious next to the country homes. We rock over four speed bumps in Jersey, GA, as fast as I can without puncturing anything underneath the Kia. We have the same discussion of why in the world that this town with one stop sign and a dentist office has extraneous speed bumps and a U.S. Post Office. We arrive at the same conclusion that someone in the town has some political clout.

Past the cows and turn right past the collapsed shack. We are on 138 headed to Monroe. Once we past Wally’s World, we must have our next discussion about those trees that look plucked out by Godzilla. They resemble toothpicks now; their companions are strewn along the side of the highway. What remains is machine-chewed mulch scattered in between the overzealous spaces. We ponder why they did that. How could they ruin scenery like that? We reach the same conclusion: Politics. Reminiscent to the street scene in the movie Falling Down, we surmise that the government surplus allowed for the balding of the sides of highway 78 so that government workers would have something to do.

I prompt the sleepy teen to eat the turkey bacon, then click on Audible as we settle in to the British accent and Great Expectations. I zone in and out of the story, hoping he is attentive when I am not. I spot that same wooden chair on the right side of the road. How did that get there? We pass a mangled and unrecognizable animal carcass. I hope he did not see that … That language of Dickins is surprising fertile for a classic … I hope I packed everything for Realistic Art class … Those steel telephone poles are huge …

I count UPS trucks that we pass and I am up to eight so far. The only stretch that requires me to be back into full consciousness is winding around to catch the loop. I want to head toward UGA every time, but refrain. Looks like we will make it in plenty of time … Debate class should be entertaining … I wonder what it is like to lay hands on someone and watch them be healed instantaneously … That acrylic painting I am working on is in the ugly stage … I wonder what my Father is doing having me try all the different mediums … I want to stop by and talk to Christi before lunch …

We park and stretch – I mean really stretch like bears – open the door and draw in crisp air before heading to the classroom.

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