Saturday, June 25, 2016

Head-on Collision

Almost, Anyway...

This is how I left my two girls
for my evening out. Even I can't
tell which one this is, but the
other one is completely under
the blanket. I told them to be
good. They look like they're
planning to be good.
Ever since I read that the two finalists on American Idol's last season were both from Mississippi, the winner and the runner-up, I'd been wanting to visit Trent Harmon's (the Idol winner) family ranch and their Longhorn Seafood and Steakhouse Restaurant, which the Harmon family opened up many years ago right there on their family ranch. It lies outside of Amory, Mississippi, not far from either Columbus or Aberdeen. So I called up a friend in Aberdeen and invited her to go with me. The woman is an active realtor in Aberdeen and showed both me and my partner many kindnesses when we were both in Aberdeen almost two years ago looking at houses.

She said there were a couple of newcomers to Aberdeen that she would like for me to meet, and so I told her she should invite them, and we would have an evening out at the Harmon family steakhouse. I got to Aberdeen in time to pick up my friend and the two newcomers, and we headed out to the steakhouse on the family ranch.

It was a  beautiful drive along a tree lined, two-lane highway, late afternoon, but it was quite busy at 5:30 p.m., and it was on this road that we were nearly involved in a head-on collision. There were about six cars in the oncoming lane, and I don't know how many cars might have been behind me when it happened, but all of a sudden (isn't that the way accidents usually happen?) a car pulled out from behind the line of oncoming cars and was heading right for us in our lane.

Things were tight, when the oncoming car had to create
a third lane!
We weren't close enough to see the bugs in the grill work, but the grill was distinct. There was a sharp drop off on the right side of my car and I could not pull over more than a couple of feet. Had I panicked, we would have rolled over heading down the deep embankment of the road. So I stopped the car and all four of us watched as the crazy driver kept coming at us. The oncoming cars might not have realized what was happening, because they didn't seem to move to their right, either, and so the oncoming car barely fit between them and us.

It was over in less than a minute and there was no accident, not even a scrape. I just hope the reckless driver had to do laundry that night and bathe when he got home!

My girls listen, enthralled, as I
tell them about the near
head-on collision. Mae is on
the left and Ellie is on the right.
I didn't take any pictures of the food this time. What can you improve on any picture of the steak and baked potato? But the steak was delicious. I saved half of it for lunch. Outings such as this one puts me in direct contact with locals in these small towns, and really, other than the accents, here, we could have been at a similar restaurant in any rural area in the United States. People don't dress up for these local restaurants, and there's no protocol to be seated and served beyond, "What would y'all like to drink?" and later, "Have y'all decided yet?"

But I did get to hear about the local goings on in Aberdeen and Amory and comments about the food, and I finally brought up Governor Bryant's signing of the so-called freedom of religion bill, HB1523. I was glad to see that all three of my guests knew about the bill and all three (as I had long expected in this area of Mississippi) were appalled to see that Bryant had signed such a thing. We more or less talked around the issue that it affected LGBTs and good-hearted people and continued to make the state look bad in the eyes of the rest of the country. And really, my only comment after bringing the subject into the conversation was that Bryant couldn't seem to understand why no Fortune 500 companies wanted to come to Mississippi.

Nonetheless, that topic settled into the background and we talked about the food and foods we wouldn't eat and foods we had eaten, like rattlesnake and rabbit and settled on the hot-fudge cake with ice-cream for dessert. And the conversation continued. I think it was a fun night out, and the woman I invited told me to be sure and come to one of the newcomers' breakfasts they have every Tuesday morning at the Penny Lane cafe and coffee shop. And I allowed as to how I would.

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