And That Has Made All The Difference

Inside is one of Alabama's best cheeseburgers. In the middle of Nowhere, Alabama.
Inside is one of Alabama’s best cheeseburgers. In the middle of Nowhere, Alabama.

I love my dad. I know that’s a pretty generic statement. Most people love their dad’s. But mine has a really subtle way of continually teaching me, even though I’m not a school girl anymore. He often catches me by surprise with his wisdom and the things he says.

My dad is a self-proclaimed purist. He loves keeping things simple and appreciates even the smallest gestures. Yet, he is brilliant. He is constantly thinking. In fact, that is one of his favorite hobbies. He will spend hours in his study working out a math problem in his head or contemplating theories of physics. I didn’t get that gene but I love being with my dad. We love to make each other laugh and he makes me feel happy to be me.

When he invited me on a little road trip with my mom and my girls today I knew I was in for a treat.

In fact when I climbed into the car he said, “Bem, you’re in for a treat!” He still uses an abbreviated version of my childhood nickname.

“How’s that?” I asked with the least bit of apprehension. I wouldn’t expect anything else from this man.

“You get the scenic route today!”

Of course I got the scenic route. My father loves back roads America. He’s always taking the road less travelled. I have so many fond  memories of gravel road adventures and the places we ended up because we took them. Gorgeous roaring rivers. Breathtaking mountaintop views. Deep secluded valleys.

Today our quest was to find what has been nominated by the Huntsville Times as Alabama’s Best Cheeseburger.  Now, one might not expect to find the state’s best cheeseburger at the end of a windy road, but I was up for the challenge. Besides, it’s more about the journey than the destination.

“We need to get there early to beat the lunch crowd.” Never one to like a busy restaurant, my dad kept contemplating the time and the best strategy to attack this joint. But we were in the middle of nowhere and so I said,

“Um, dad. I have a really hard time believing that because we are having to take this road to get to the place that we should really expect a crowd.”

He actually belly laughed at that statement. So I went back to trusting him.

We rounded the last curve and he exclaimed “Ah! Good! It’s not so crowded today!”

And I seriously asked him where the building was that he was referring. All I could see was a shack on the side of the road.

“Right there! In front of us.”

The building we had travelled nearly 45 minutes for was no bigger than a gas station. In fact it was a gas station!

Alabama’s best cheeseburger? Ok.

The place, though not crowded, had a line of people waiting to place their orders. I love my burgers with everything on them. My dad, the purist, hates onions and pickles and only wants a simple burger. We placed our orders and found a table near the back. When our food arrived the first bite really did explain its prestigious nomination. We were busy with our elbows deep in french fries and licking grease from our fingers when I teased my dad that he needed onions and pickles to make his burger truly the best.

And that’s where my lesson of the day came.

“No thanks! I do not do as the world does.”

No, Daddy. You don’t. And I am so thankful for that.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2

 

 

 

 

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