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.