Monday, November 08, 2010
Chasing Fall Leaves
I love nature and all things beautiful. There is something about fall foliage that reminds me of my youth in Virginia and I try to make a pilgrimage every year to see it. Being on a short budget doesn't make it easier, plus the fact that catching fall foliage at its peak is quiet tricky. Originally, I had planned to leave for up north at four in the afternoon on Friday but I stalled and didn't leave till 6. By the time I reached Gainesville it was quite dark and traffic was terrible on I-75. The University of Florida is in Gainesville and imagine a Friday night when everyone is looking for fun. After a couple of drivers made some very sharp lane changes behind me though I was easily doing 75 miles per hour, I realized I better go home.( I wasn't on the fast lane either.) So I meekly turned around and went back. Surprisingly the traffic wasn't quite as heavy going home.
I mostly rested all day Saturday. I almost finished reupholstering my love seat and did other household chores I had neglected. Then came the nagging thought that I was going to miss the autumn colors and who knew when I would get a chance to do it again.
So the more I thought about it, I decided that if I left very early in the morning I could feasibly make it to Valdosta by 12 hopefully and perhaps beyond if necessary. I just didn't want to overdo it. I thought what ever I drove up, I would have to drive down. On the other hand, I didn't want to spend money on a hotel if I could at all avoid it. So I decided, turn around time had to be at two, but earlier if I could make it happen. So I drove and drove. Sang and sang, listened to church services, "good old time religion," and was blessed. Very blessed and before I knew it I was getting to Valdosta. It was noon. I could have lunch or get off at Route 84 and search for autumn foliage for at least five miles and have lunch a little further north. That is what I did.
I drove through historic Valdosta which already has its lamp posts decorated for Christmas. These folks don't know that the loveliest part of town is just up the road a piece. I remembered a particular cluster of trees from my previous trip to South Carolina last month and I wasn't mistaken. There they were, all lit up. They looked like a flaming fire from way down the road.
That was my birthday present! The Lord gave it to me!! He made these trees, didn't He? Then He gave me a safe trip up and down I-75 with out one single mishap. In fact, when perhaps I was overstaying my welcome in a lonesome bog, a gray Georgia Police car pulled up and a handsome young policeman kindly asked me "Is everything alright?" To which I answered that I had stopped to take a picture and he said, "Okay, I just wanted to make sure there was nothing wrong." Now wasn't that nice? So I took that as a signal that perhaps I should move on, but nonetheless, I got a bunch of beautiful pictures and my birthday present. I am very blessed.