Cracks in the Lane…

The part of Rigsby Lane where I live is a private, dirt road.

Just as it crosses FM543 it transforms into a black top.

On my first walk I smoothly avoided the cracks that ran along its surface sprouting grass and weeds and looking quite at home.


For the first few weeks I believed this west lane to be a road that had been laid years ago and was suffering from the effects of heavy ranch traffic, tractors, combine harvesters and livestock trailers not to mention the seasonal herding of cattle from one field to another with a couple of cowboys on horseback.

One day I was power-walking with a fellow Rigsby Laner and learned, between breaths, that,

“This was a dirt road too just last year!”

“Really?” I said sidestepping a long, gaping split in the surface, “just last year? Wow!  That was an expensive job!” remembering how much it had just cost us for our share of re-surfacing, with more rock, our east bound lane.

“The cracks appeared within a few months…in some ways the dirt was better!” she lamented, “but the county paid for it not us…at least not directly!”

I re-assessed the asphalt with this new information and thought I’d feel the same way if our dirt road was black topped and started deteriorating after a few short months.

Three years has taught me that all the back roads criss-crossing the fields in Weston with their potholes and other surface hazards are hastily patched by the county each year or so; the first good rain destroys all the hard work and we’re back to square one.

There is a reason of course…it’s all about county planning and prospects.

There are developers wooing the powers-that-be promising a real estate explosion that would qualify for a 6 lane highway with 4 lane feeders coming clean across what are now vast expanses of pasture and woods, not to mention ‘a loop’, a mall, business offices and other services.

If indeed this happens and we have a housing boom there would have to be a massive highway construction, a veritable mix-master of interlocking, silky smooth, unblemished roadways to carry traffic off 75 out to 121 and beyond.

For now I deftly jog around the irregular hopscotch scorings that looked as though they’d been made with a giant poker and wonder if anything, besides plant-life, dwells beneath the surface?

As a child in London my brother and I would walk along the pavements treading only in the squares,

We’d break into a run to make the competition tougher and rush headlong down the uniform patchwork of paving stones avoiding the

“Masses of bears who wait at the corners all ready to eat

the sillies who tread on the lines of the street…”  (A.A.Milne)

Walking in Weston, I am not afraid of bears but in my mind every deep crevice harbors a snake, or worse.

I sometimes think to take a stick and poke around to see if a diamond shaped head flicks its forked tongue at me but I’m not that brave so I let my imagination drift.

Recently I came upon this,


A snake had shed its skin on the way down into its lair!

I was right except it’s not bears but snakes who lie in wait if I step on the lines.

“It’s ever so portant how you walk.
And it’s ever so jolly to call out,Snakes
Just watch me walking around the gapes!'” (Italics mine from A.A.Milne Lines and Squares)

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