Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government. 1 Peter 2:13-17 (The Message)
We enjoyed our stay in Birmingham. Though we were only there for one night, we could have stayed several days. There are lots of different things to do. We could have chosen from the Civil Rights Institute, Science Center, Art Museum, History Museum, the Zoo or several shopping districts. How we chose to use our time reflected our personal interests. We spent half a day at the Barber Motorsports Park and a few hours at the Birmingham Botanical Park. Guess who chose each place? Husband loves the museum at Barber Motorsports Park. Imagine a five story open parking garage complete with ramps connecting each level. And on those five stories are hundreds and hundreds of motorcycles, vintage and contemporary. When you walk in, you can see the whole museum and the view is enough to stop you in your tracks, there is so much to see. The main support columns are covered in racks that go up for three stories and create giant Christmas tree shapes with motorcycles for decorations. The museum is husband’s fantasy land. He loves looking at each bike, reading the labels and photographing them. Many of the models he remembers and some he even owned. The first time we visited the museum four years ago on his 50th birthday, we spent the entire day there with a behind the scenes tour. This time, we didn’t stay as long, but husband still enjoyed every minute there. The next day, we left early to go to the Botanical Park before it got too hot. I guess we were between growing seasons. I was disappointed to find the rose garden completely trimmed back. Plants were stubby sticks with not a bloom in sight. I had looked forward to seeing the roses, but had to settle for the rest of the gardens. Most of the flowers, like the daylilies, azaleas and camellias were not flowering and the conservatory was closed so we missed the orchids. But, the fern garden was lush and green. The Alabama Woodlands were interesting and smelled of pine although the creeks were dried up. The park was interesting, but by 11:00, we were drenched in sweat and decided to leave earlier than we had planned. We went to a section of Birmingham called the English Village for cookies and tea. It was like a little piece of Britain transplanted to America. Over two hundred years ago, a small group of people decided they wanted to create a country where they had freedom from the rule of a country far across an ocean with no understanding of what it was like to live in America. The industry, the native plants and trees, the environment were unique. And the ones who knew the land best and what could be accomplished there were the people who lived there! Whether you spend your day in a garden or on a motorcycle, at the beach or the zoo, thank the ones who came before us and guaranteed the freedom to choose.