Monday, March 8, 2010

Driving Miss Louise

Sunday was an absolutely gorgeous day. I cleaned off the patio furniture, a wrought iron set I got from LouLou, and settled in with a book. I looked over and saw that the daffodil bulbs I’d brought from LouLou’s yard years ago had popped up and were waving happily in the breeze. My thoughts took a jog on memory lane as I began to think about what she would have been doing on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.

LouLou was far too frugal to have a driver or a maid. However, the movie “Driving Miss Daisy” still evokes some accurate images of my diminutive southern grandmother and one of her favorite pastimes.

Though she drove her car until she was well into her 90’s, her brother was usually the one who “carried” her to see the farm, an unhurried afternoon ride to tour the countryside. As a child, I didn’t enjoy those car rides that seemed to lack a destination or purpose. They consisted of leisurely drives on rural roads and quiet conversation..
The convoys of bikers who tour around together on sunshiny days are the closest resemblance I can come up with to the “riding” tradition of a bygone era. They stop together for refreshments and I can just imagine LouLou sharing a co’cola and conversation with the leather-clad group, as she never met a stranger. I’m sure she would have charmed them and left them with a lasting impression of an energetic, interesting and happy lady.

As an adult, I learned to enjoy this old tradition of “riding”, especially on a pretty day.
In more recent years, I "carried" (that was her word for it- is that a southernism?) LouLou to Wendy’s, which was in another town altogether, for a Frosty, one of her favorite treats. The opportunity to hear LouLou’s recollections and enjoy her observations was always time well spent. She savored life, living with open eyes, an open heart and mind and a generous spirit.

Now I understand that the destination and purpose of “riding” was tied into relationship and had little to do with a physical place. Ah, LouLou, you taught me so much.


Uncommon Blonde said...

What happy flowers you have! Nate loves to ride around, I'm usually to much of a busybody to enjoy it. We spent some time in the sun yesterday too - you'll be getting some cute pictures tonight as a result ;)

Tammy@If Meadows Speak... said...

Yup, I too love those long leisure strolls in auto wheels. You put it beautifully, it is about the relationship of sharing the drive over any destination. :)

Saleslady371 said...

Amazing how age brings wisdom, eh? Love Daffodils! Have a wonderful day.

sara said...

what a beautiful lesson to learn!!

My ADHD Me said...

I love to hear about your LouLou.
Always makes me stop and think about my Grammy.
She would "carry" us to the store etc....
My dad still "carries" people.

With my Grammy it was McDonalds Pancakes that were the treat. There were no fastfoods near her house so she always got treated to pancakes at McDonalds when she came to visit us. My dad would "carry" her.

Oh yeah, and her favorite drink was definitely....Co'cola! Really!

Protege said...

Beautiful story.;) Memories and sentimental reflection, that is what I love.
I can not believe your daffodils are in bloom, ours are just about to peek out of the soil.;)) If we are lucky, they might bloom around Easter, which is very appropriate as we call them "Easter Lilies" here.;)