When I first met Richard, I was on my own for the first time in my life and finding my way, as well as finding myself. I remember Richard placing my camera tripod near the living room window and saying, “I am going to put this here so you will see it and be inspired to get out and take pictures.” This act was the beginning of a bond we have cultivated over many miles and tanks of gas. It was also a stepping stone toward my self-confidence. The photographs in this post are a result of those first couple of outings, just my camera and I.
At the time of this little excursion, I’d had my driver’s license just over a year (I was crippled by fear until my 30’s). Venturing outside of Richmond was excitingly terrifying. But, with a little strength from God and Brandi Carlile, I found my way to Kirksville, a small community in Madison County. My first stop was a driveway where I paused momentarily to capture an old silo. It was a dreary, quiet day, so I was provided a nice atmosphere.
Driving further, I approached a small country store, “Tussey’s Roundhill General Store”. Though the gas pumps outside were clearly out of order, I realized the store itself was open. Being the country girl that I am, I know the tastiest fare is found inside these little “mom and pop” dives. As silly as it sounds, it felt like a rite of passage for me to get out of the car, alone, go into an unfamiliar place of business, and buy myself a cold drink. The quick break turned into a visit when I ordered a grilled cheese and potato wedges and the nice lady behind the counter insisted I stay there to eat it. So, I took a seat at one of the tables surrounding the television, where the UK Wildcats were playing Vanderbilt. I ate my lunch and had pleasant conversation with the elderly lady, who owned the store alongside her husband. I watched the many farmers come and go, interrupting the work day for a homemade meal and a chat.
When I left, she asked me to return, which I did soon after. I had not, however, stopped by in the last couple of years until today, when I discovered that the store has been under new ownership for the past month. The elderly couple was no longer able to care for the store due to declining health. While this was sad news, I still hold on to the memories of that day when they welcomed me, a lost girl searching for her place in the world. I am pleased that someone took the initiative to keep such a wonderful piece of history alive. There really aren’t many of these places left, so when I find them, I cherish them.
The beautiful church pictured above was found during my second journey down KY-595, which took place the very next weekend. Richard had encouraged me to find it, saying that he had photographed it at sunset one evening, so I couldn’t resist expanding the boundaries of my preceding voyage. What I found captured my senses.
As for Brandi Carlile, she, like Richard, has accompanied me on many outings since, be it by CD or by Pandora. During those lonely hours when I sat in my first apartment, my head full of hopes and fears, I compiled a list of “things” that I liked, “things” I enjoyed, with no influence from those around me. As someone who had struggled with independence, I had found that it was difficult to remember who I was, because I had unknowingly adopted the likes/dislikes of those around me. I was, in a sense, still a child. This list helped to shed light on the real me. Her music was high on that list.
Make your own list. We all get caught up in “life” sometimes and forget who we are. And, if you happen to be in Central Kentucky, take the drive from Richmond to Kirksville. Beauty abounds.