Sunday, September 8, 2013

A three hour tour...

Are you ready sweetie?
A three hour tour... Anyone else remember the theme song to Gilligan's Island?  It's pretty much sums up how yesterday started...

Just as the sun was rising hubby and I set out on a mini-adventure.  Breakfast at White Knight in St. Louis, and if you have never been... well you simply have to! It's an original greasy spoon, a small little piece of days gone by (it even played a role in the movie The White Palace with Susan Sarandon - but I have never seen it).  We had an amazing breakfast, lots of interesting conversations with the folks around us. How can you not when you can reach out and touch all of them?

Market Street at Sunrise
Then we were off... Wentzville here we come.  The folks that traded us the bike for the property discovered that in all the chaos (caused by she who will remain nameless) that I had forgotten to sign the title on the trailer.  So we agreed to meet in the middle... All together the entire trip should have taken us about three hours.

Note I said should have...

By the time we made it through all the construction zone's, the fake detour and me not being able to follow the GPS instructions we were a tad late getting there. And decided to take a different route home.  About a five hour different route. 

I was feeling a bit stressed, as I had a lot of work to do, hats to make, etc... but how can you feel stressed or regretful when stealing a bit of paradise?

Hubby and I stopped by to visit with the eldest and to get a hug and kiss from the grand-baby.  They were not home.  Since we were in the neighborhood, we decided to see if the youngest two were home.  On the way we took a detour or two through some neighborhoods.  In Kirkwood we went through their historic district.  Such beautiful homes from the 1800's... It was so peaceful!

Twin One was home, the Twin Two was working.  So we took Twin One out to lunch.  At the Applebee's her sister works at.  We got to spend quality time with both, they were slow at the restaurant - so both girls got to spend a minute or thirty with us.  All too soon, Twin Two had tables to seat, Twin One had to rush off to get ready for work and it was simply back to hubby and I and our blue bike.

Hubby loves thrift stores and noted one nearby, off we went.  It was a very nice store and we will be visiting again, but having found nothing that we could carry on the bike... 

After a quick stop to fuel up we started following a network of back roads.  I am not a fan of the highway,  especially when there are back roads to follow, highways bore me.  So sweet Hubby had a plan!  Zigzagging through St. Louis and the burbs was so much fun, the things you discover when you are putt, putting around....

At one intersection I saw a Merb's.  It's a local chocolate shop. I am always in search of the local equivalent of Sponge Candy (yep everyone at home knows what I am talking about) so in we went.  The molasses puffs are close, real close.  But definitely not the same!!

While we were shopping I was reminded in full why I cherish hubby and love him so much!  I am blessed to be married to a man with a heart like his.  We were goofing around and chatting with the young girl at the counter.  Hubby had just given her a piece of his peanut brittle to try (she'd never had it - WHAT??) when a woman with three small boys came in.

 Now hubby has never met a stranger and as we quickly found out, Gramma's money was tight, but her and those three boys had walked over to get some candy.  Hubby was surprised that here surrounded by all the wonderful fresh made treats, Gramma was buying generic supermarket kind of candy.  And he asked about it, that was how we knew. Being the big, sweet wonderful kid that he is, he asked if he could offer the kids a piece of candy.  The youngest two (they looked about 3 and 4) eagerly reached in.  Their smiles could not be contained! The older child probably 8 or 9, politely shook his head no.  Hubby asked him if he did not like chocolate and the little boy replied so sweetly no he did, but he didn't want to eat all hubby's candy.  That almost made me cry.  Being hubby, he rubbed his belly and assured the little guy that he was not missing any candy opportunities.  After being reassured that he was not taking away hubby's candy, he also took a piece and the look on his face was priceless.  We left them in the candy store and headed off.  As we were pulling out there were three little guys in flip flops and a gramma, getting ready to walk back to houses that looked a bit far to be a quick walk, waving and yelling thank you.  It was so amazing to witness. 

A short while later, I finally figured out where we were. Not being a St. Louis native and rarely traveling around in St. Louis, I often find myself turned around and not knowing where I am heading.

As we were pulling in front of the twins old middle school we were dumb struck.  Literally amazed by what we witnessed!  A family in South St. Louis had suffered horrific losses last week in a fire.  Only two members had survived. And here was an entire community gathering at a BBQ and walking along with buckets and M&M's to raise money for them.   The slow progression of the traffic was a blessing, it was caused by so many wanting to help.

They weren't even simply asking for money, they were giving something in exchange.  Didn't take a second for hubby and I to look through our pockets and make a donation to that young lady hurrying up and down the middle of the street.  We gave our donation and declined the M&M's (they are a bit anti-climatic after eating a piece of fresh made chocolate - and messy on the bike).  The next words... ah they were beautiful!  That bouncing young lady, with a bright big smile looked us straight in the eyes and said "God Bless You!" As we made our way past the school, regretting that we had eaten earlier in the day, we were blessed to see a line about a mile long waiting to buy some BBQ to support the two family members left.

It is so powerful to witness a community taking care of it's own.  I am not a fan of government handouts, never have been never will be.  So seeing a community and then some all lined up to help one of their own, standing in the hot sun on the even hotter asphalt for the opportunity to lend a helping hand.  To me that was beyond powerful! It made me feel that despite the horrible stuff that happens every day, that there is much good in this world and it is happening daily without fan fare and media coverage.  It is the silent, word of mouth kind of goodness that is holding our world together.

The Jefferson Barracks Bridge
A few more hours later we had shared candy with our neighbors and spent a few minutes or so visiting.  Then off to the Harley dealership so Hubby could drool over the 2014's and try to convince me to learn to ride (is he trying to kick me off his bike??)

The Mighty Mississippi is looking a bit low...
We finally made it home a full nine hours later (see what I mean about that three hour tour??)!  I had started to feel I wouldn't get what I needed to accomplished and my stress was starting to rise.  I wouldn't trade the day for anything, I loved every minute, I was just trying to figure out how to make the day last a bit longer.  I needed a 28 hour day.

I finally accomplished my goal.  Had time to spend with my son.  And even started my blog last night, but at one in the morning, I realized I was drifting to sleep more than I was writing.  And I gave up.  Today is a new day, today I will make more hats, tidy up and do laundry and of course find time to ride with hubby... there is a storm supposed to be heading in tonight, and I don't want to miss a minute...