…on the motorcycle ride last Friday afternoon. I would much rather have just come home and lazed around and enjoying the start of another weekend.
But I’d promised.
Donnie had asked me to go with him Thursday after work, and I didn’t go. In my defense, I’d been to the eye doctor that morning and she’d dilated my pupils, and I ended up with a headache and even after several hours, a nagging sensitivity to bright lights.
So I told him I’d go Friday instead.
And when Friday afternoon rolled around, I found myself not looking forward to the ride and listing all the negatives I could think of: it was hot outside, I was tired, my hair looks terrible after being smooshed under a helmet, and so on.
But I’d promised.
So we went.
And I had a wonderful time! It cooled down after we got on the road, and I started looking at two things that were just always in sight while we were riding. Wild Black-Eyed Susan flowers – they were EVERYWHERE! They looked so bright and cheerful, I just couldn’t be in a bad mood looking at their ultra-yellow petals. But I learned something about them from the internet – their “black eyes” are not really black at all, but dark brown and dark purple! But I guess “Purple-Eyed Susan” just didn’t have as nice a ring to it!
The other plant that I saw tons of is a tree that I’ve known since I was a child, but I never knew its name. My Gramma Wofford had one in her yard, and I’ve always loved them. Their leaves look like droopy ferns, and they have a pink puff-ball of a flower – very fuzzy and soft-looking. It’s called a Mimosa, like the cocktail drink. But I looked these up on the internet too, and I found out that their fluffy, friendly appearance is deceiving – they are considered invasive plants that reproduce so rapidly that they endanger the native plant life around them. They also have roots that spread out far from the main trunk and produce “shooters” that can speed up the reproduction process.
On our way home, 2 hours later, we rode through the little town of Carrollton, Alabama. If you’re from around here, you’ve already associated that name with a ghost story! If you’re not a local, here’s the story:
Around 1876-1878, the Pickens County Courthouse in Carrollton was burned to the ground. A former slave, Henry Wells, was accused of the crime and arrested. There was no jail, but the Courthouse was being rebuilt so Wells was “jailed” in the upper room of the new Courthouse. A lynch mob gathered on the Courthouse lawn that night, and when Wells looked out the window and saw the group of men, lightning struck nearby and an image of his frightened face was burned into the glass. Supposedly the image isn’t visible from the inside, just from certain angles on the ground, where the lynch mob had been.
Now I’ll be honest, there IS some kind of image there that does resemble a face with wide eyes and an open mouth. Whether it’s the face of Henry Wells or not…I can’t say. But seeing that image does tend to make the little hairs on your neck stand up!
When we got home from our ride, I was energized and really glad that I’d gone with Donnie. I got to see some beautiful flowers and trees, revisit a little of the past, and I even learned some things when I got home.
Next time he asks, instead of coming up with a dozen reasons NOT to go on a ride, I’ll just grab my helmet and hop on!
"For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
Isaiah 55:12 (NIV)
Isaiah 55:12 (NIV)