The AA-Highway is a lovely stretch of road that basically runs along the northern border of Kentucky from Ohio to West Virginia and back. Its sloping hills and wide curves through hilly landscapes are best driven during the day although my husband has driven us through the night on many an ocassion. My inlaws live about three hours away in West Virginia (we're in Cincinnati, Ohio). I do always look forward to the drive with a bit of nostalgia and excitement. I've become so familiar with all kinds of landmarks along the way. I seek them out as our car curves along the mostly two-lane highway. There's the tobacco barn bursting with bunches of leaves for most of the year. The barn is large, weathered and all kinds of gray. The sloping land that immediately surrounds it is covered in a plucky swarth of green grass and the whole scene is framed by Midwestern forest. There's the mini-horse farm. I think that's one of my husband's absolute favorites. Five or six mini Shetland horses in shades of white, brown and tan nibble at the ground in their boxy fenced-in pen. Their manes and tails are well combed and are trimmed straight across. Two large, sloping hills jut up on either side behind them. Oh, and I can not forget my factory. This is something I prefer to drive by at night. It's actually an Ashland Oil refinery but the way this factory looks at night is breathtaking. Imagine a dozen silver cylinders wrapped in swirling steps capped by tall, blazing flames. Imagine silvery pipes twisting and turning all over, with a seeming lack of purpose, but dotted with yellowy incandescent-esque lights. These bubbles of light emit a golden glow in the form of halos. These golden halos reflect beautifully, nope-magnificently--against the silver background. White smoke tubes billow upward and outward in distinct, snaking spires. Magnificence, pure industrial magnificence. And, after we've made the drive and made note of all the landmarks we pull into the driveway of a familiar house with a familiar bed inside, waiting for us. Familiar faces are inside, waiting for us to just open the front door and come in.
Driving to see our family is almost as wonderful as actually getting to see them.