Saturday morning ramblings

It was chilly and windy morning, but the countryside was calling me l. I suited up, grabbed my camera, and answered the call. I went first to Little Ocmulgee State Park. The wind off the lake was COLD, and the water was choppier than I’d ever seen it.

I headed home from there by way of Hwy 341, this weekend’s Peaches to Beaches route. I slowed for the traffic but didn’t stop. I made a left further down onto SR-149 then a right onto County Road 173 after passing through Scotland.

I passed Davis Chapel Church Road but since I was in the mood to explore and had never driven it, I made a u-turn, went back, and hung a left. It’s a long, winding dirt road (my favorite kind), and I saw beauty all along the way. I backed up a few times to make pics.

Making a left onto Springhill Church Road, I headed to Hwy 19, stopping along the way to make pics. I must’ve been driving 35 or 40 mph so when cars approached, I slowed to let them pass.

At the intersection of highways 19 and 126, I crossed 19 and made a right onto Jordan Road, another dirt road. Yes, I was enjoying my dirt road cruise! A couple of miles later, I made a left onto Beetle Road (y’all know that’s another dirt road, right?), and followed it home.

Yes, gas is high right now and we’re probably all inclined to conserve and make fewer trips. But when it comes to roaming the countryside, cruising these dirt roads (or highways), and soaking up all that beauty, it’s worth every minute, every mile, and every dollar.

Changes

After leaving Wheeler County Library a few weeks ago, I was inspired to do some exploring and took the long route home. Instead of turning left on CR-78, I followed Highway 126 from Alamo until it converged with Highways 19 and 134. It had been many years since I’d driven Highway 126 and even longer for Highway 134 so I was excited to see the changes that had transpired over the years.

On 126, I passed a field of sunflowers and a little further up the road, the house where Mama worked as a private nurse for many years. I barely recognized it, though, because the house seemed a lot grander back then than it does now. A few miles later, I came upon the house were friends once lived. It looked the same as I remembered but another family lives there now.

Storm clouds had formed during my drive so I stopped to photograph them before proceeding to what was once Singing Pines Plantation, a performance horse farm. It’s still a horse farm but a sign announces that it houses a men’s ministry now, too. While at the horse farm, I spotted a couple of dilapidated houses on the road to Towns, GA and decided to get pictures of them as well. I tried recalling the houses from yesteryear but couldn’t remember anything about them except that they were there.

A few miles from Towns, I decided to save that trip for a clear day when I’d have time to visit so at Cattle Road, a dirt road I was sorely tempted to explore but didn’t because it was muddy and unfamiliar, I made a u-turn and headed home.

That July day was a wonderful trip down memory lane but what I’m remembering most is the day a week or so before when I left the library and debated driving through the neighborhood where I’d spent time growing up. I’ve done this drive-through many times over the years and even though cousins and friends lived there, I seldom stopped to visit. But while I’m debating whether I’ll drive through that particular day, my car is heading in the direction of the neighborhood as if it had a mind of its own until we, my car and I, eventually end up in my cousin’s driveway.

That wasn’t the first time this had happened to me, though. I’d had a similar experience in Atlanta several months before my road trip. I was deciding whether to drop off a donation at Christian City or go to the consignment shop first. During the course of that debate, my car was heading to the consignment shop, the opposite direction of my inclination towards Christian City. Even though it was unplanned, the stop ended up being a divine appointment. While there, I had a most amazing conversation with Linda, a woman I’d never met and whose shop would ordinarily have been closed that day.

A few months before, I’d heard Wayne Dyer lecture about “traveling light” and the idea so resonated with me that I was practically shoutin’ as I drove down the 85 freeway! On the fateful Monday in Linda’s shop, I was thrilled to be decluttering my life but not quite sure how far I wanted to go with it. As it turned out, she had been traveling light for several years and loving it. And although I was a complete stranger, she shared all the details of how she’d come to that point and how her life had unfolded afterwards. It was an awesome couple of hours that confirmed that I was indeed on the right path.

But back to the visit with my cousin. She’s 80 years old and even though I’d spent the night with her daughters several times as a child, she and I had never talked. That day, however, we talked for over two hours about her child- and adulthood, work, marriage, raising children, my road trip, and God. Aside from sightseeing on my trip, it was the best two hours I’d spent in a long time.

By the time I left, our experiences had uplifted and encouraged us both, and her pains had dissipated. It was a wonderful afternoon and a perfect example of divine providence. It also exemplified the benefits of following Spirit’s guidance, going with the flow, and the transformation that’s possible by surrendering to both.

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