Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Finding Neff Road

"I looked up Neff Road on the map," wrote a local reader of my column. Finding Neff Road.

Neff Road is just a little country road. Not much to see. A few houses. A dog, a cat, a bridge. Cows in a field. A small woods my father planted. A pond that Barney Bucholtz dug. The creek that probably needs to be dredged. A big white house back a lane. It all that I knew when I was growing up on R.R.#2.

Neff Road is a state of mind. A place where we rest as well as remember. In essence, Neff Road was all my experiences growing up in Franklin Twp. That place we go back to time and time again because of the memories and those people who shared them. I don't know if younger people appreciate their Neff Road. I'm not sure I appreciated mine until I began losing those who lived there and finally the loss of the place where I grew up. There is not a day that I don't go back there finding a memory, a smile. Every day I remember those people....those who remember as well. I find that I cannot pass on my memories of Neff Road to my family. My children have their own. But perhaps I can pass on those parts of the Neff Road that were passed on to me. A compassion for others, a loving heart, a deep love of nature, an appreciation for the soil, an appreciation of those who bring food to my table. There are many parts of Neff Road inside of this almost sixty-five year old woman. I could not separate them out if I tried.

Neff Road is just a road. A sweet country road like so many others in Darke county. Like so others across the nation. A small community of caring neighbors. A history that is carried along with those who know it's past. Neff Road is your road as well as mine. For those who remember, we can say, "I am Neff Road."

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