Sunday, April 27, 2014

Riding the wildflowers

I love riding a motorcycle with my man. I used to ride my own Harley, but I prefer the view from the "queen seat" now. I can look around and think how blessed I am while Ronnie keeps us upright and between the lines.

We spent last weekend riding the wildflowers on the back roads around Navasota, TX, our new hometown, which, with a population of 7,000+, is the largest town in Grimes County.

On Friday we stopped first at the Filling Station Cafe and Restaurant on E Washington Ave., for breakfast, where our favorite waitress served us omelets and biscuits and coffee. After gassing up at the Valero station, we headed for Anderson, the county seat. We had business there, such as getting our vehicles registered and obtaining a DBA for writing retreats at our 1875 Victorian house.

According to the website, the county clerk's office is open from 8 am until 4:30 pm. We'd called to be sure and an answering machine repeated the same hours listed on the website. However, the door was locked when we arrived. We weren't surprised. Not really. Last Friday was Good Friday and Grimes County is a Christian stronghold, not full of profit-driven heathens like the big cities have. We, being more Christian than heathen ourselves, saw it as a sign to enjoy the countryside and took a farm-to-market road to Carlos, TX.

The sun warmed our backs and the scents of bluebonnets, buttercups, lavender, wild lilies and other field flowers filled our noses. We passed ranches where Herefords and Brahmans and Texas longhorns moseyed the pastures and glimpsed other pastures that were home to Palomino horses and goats. Vegetable gardens and lush rose bushes bumped up against ranch houses and mobile homes. Such a startling and welcomed contrast to Houston skyscrapers and concrete.

The next day we got a late start and headed in the opposite direction to Washington-on-the-Brazos. We stopped at the state park where Ronnie had to surrender his Derringer pistol while we toured the museum. Men and their guns! But I guess, after seeing Easy Rider in the 60's, a biker, war veteran and former police officer wants to be prepared for the worst on the road.

We learned some Texas history that we didn't know before, thanks to a documentary produced by Blinn College in nearby Brenham. Afterwards, we rode a back road to Chappell Hill. Farmers had planted bluebonnet seeds in fallow land, and we enjoyed the contrast of deep blue-purple against green clover and greener grass. A miniature pony farm caught our attention, but our tummies grumbled so we continued following the road to town. We stopped at a place that advertised great homemade pies, but stuck to roasted meat and mashed potatoes and collard greens. (I'm off sugar these days and Ronnie is supportive in that he doesn't feed his sweet tooth when I'm around. One more reason I love him.)

We found a pretty little nursery with big pots of lavender. I love the slender beauty of lavender stalks and the calming scent of its flowers. I did not know lavender is a natural mosquito repellent. Ronnie plans to return in the Jeep this week and load up 6 pots for our backyard patio. (See how easy it is for me to find reasons to loved him?)

We looked for roadside vendors selling homegrown tomatoes on our way home by way of Hempstead, but only saw truck beds loaded with watermelons. Oh well, no worries. Wed just have one more reason to mount that bike and ride the wildflowers.

What do you do to enjoy  the Texas springtime?