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Hartselle Enquirer

The Dirt Road

By Jacob Hatcher

Community Columnist

Someone recently shared an old photo of my Grandpa Hatcher walking down the dirt driveway of his farm with my Uncle Tom. A young cousin is sitting on Uncle Tom’s shoulder and Grandpa’s grinning ear to ear. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a picture of Grandpa where he wasn’t smiling, even though the outside world might have told him he didn’t have much to smile about.

As I looked at the photo, I was reminded of a Sawyer Brown song entitled The Dirt Road, in which the narrator’s father is advising him to always take the dirt road; it’s not easy and isn’t supposed to be, but when we do the hard things in life we end up appreciating the easy things a lot more.

I can’t think of anything that describes Grandpa any better. He got a little dusty from time to time, hit plenty of bumps along the way, and life sure poured a lot of rain on him that sometimes got him stuck in the mud, but he just kept plugging along.

Slow and steady, he walked that dirt road his entire life so that his boys could make it off the farm and have the resources to take whatever road they wanted.

I’ve spent plenty of time on that dirt driveway, and even more on the dirt driveway of my Nana’s house where things weren’t exactly handed to us on a silver platter. We had a lot of fun at Nana’s, but we also knew we’d spend some time with a pickaxe in our hands.

She could have chosen to stay in a neighborhood with less work to be done, but I think there’s just something about a dirt road that calls to my people. There are easier ways to do life, but a mason jar of ice cold tea doesn’t taste near as refreshing after watching someone else till your garden.

Just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s better, and anyway, it’s the hard things in life that makes you appreciate the easy things.

So if you need me, I’ll be down a dirt road somewhere.

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