As I gazed out the car window, I immediately noticed the fields of wheat shimmering in the sun. Daddy drove up to a little hill we called “knolls” out in Kansas because in the central plains, real hills are non-existent. As I walked to the top, I remember thinking, while I looked down at the miles and miles of amber waves of grain, I was witnessing what looked like a golden ocean.

We had been on our weekly Sunday drive and at that time, we lived in Kansas. I loved Kansas. It had breathtaking sunsets and wind that blew all the time. On any given day, I could lean against it and not fall down, but most of all, I loved our Sunday drives. We’d go to a Swedish town called Lindsborg and buy Spudnuts from one of the local bakeries. They were melt in your mouth good and the main ingredients were potatoes. Most of the residents spoke Swedish or German.

When we lived in Alabama, our Sunday drives took us through miles and miles of cotton and corn fields. I remember the distinct aroma of the cotton. It’s hard to describe, but it always fascinated me even as a little kid. On our Sunday drives, Daddy always liked to end them with the family getting special treats. We always went to a little ice cream parlor in Montgomery. My favorite was chocolate.

We’d leave the store with our frozen treat for the ride back home. I was not a neat child especially when it came to eating ice cream. For some reason, I loved to bite the bottom out of the cone and eat it that way. Of course, it melted. My pretty little starched Sunday dress would be drenched in chocolate by the time we reached our destination. My face was almost obscured by the sugary treat and even my white blond hair had a distinct brownish tinge. Mama would scold me biting the bottom out of the cone and Daddy would laugh.

I’m not sure many people take leisurely Sunday drives anymore. Everyone is always in a hurry or they have better things to do than waste time taking drives. Our middle son, Hayden, likes to take Sunday drives. It started when he graduated from college. He would come to the house and invite us for a drive. We just about always went. We didn’t necessarily go anywhere specific. We just drove down back roads and such. When Mom came to live with us, she went too. She loved those drives.

Hayden texted me today and asked if Bill and I wanted to take a Sunday drive with him and Hatcher. Carrie and Alex was at dance. We hadn’t been on a nice drive in quite some time, so we went over to their house and I turned over our key to our Subaru Forrester. She’s a perfect vehicle for a Sunday drive.

We drove through the little city of White and Hayden found this place called The Kracken Springs. It was once a quarry, but now people can take scuba diving lessons and such. This quarry brought me to mind of a quarry my college friends and I used to go to the summer I graduated. It was at a farm and was a beautiful spot. The water was lovely and I had no sense back then. In trying to impress a young man, I was persuaded to dive off a 50+ foot cliff into the water below. I learned never to do this again and that if you hit the water with your eyes open, you see bright orange veins.

After we left the quarry today, we wound up in Adairsville. I’ve always loved Adairsville and worked as a news reporter and columnist there for the Bartow-News for a short time in 1990. It had been awhile since I’d been in Adairsville. A city revitalization is going on big time and I was so very happy to see that the big, old, and once stately brick home overlooking the city appears to be being renovated.

Most of the old run-down neighborhoods have been neatened and the homes are beautiful. It’s what some would call gentrified. This seems to be going on all over the country these days. If you haven’t been to Adairsville in awhile or have never been there, it’s worth it to give it a look. The downtown area is quaint with antique stores, a mercantile, The Elite Boutique, which has been there for years and other buildings being renovated. Everything looks beautiful.

We ended our Sunday drive with a trip to the Dairy Queen in Calhoun. It seemed fitting to end with ice cream cones. No, I didn’t bite out the bottom of the cone ... this time.

Coleen Brooks is a longtime resident of Gordon County who previously wrote for the Calhoun Times as a columnist. She retired as the director and lead instructor for the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Adult Education Department in 2013. She can be reached at iryshsmyle@aol.com.

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