It was a fun thing to squish into the car with my three younger children: little Mack, Amalia, and Timothy, and my longsuffering husband Bryan, and to head down to St. Louis to visit our oldest son Matthew and his darling wife Rachel. Well, “fun” is one word for it. Possibly “insane” is another. Also “riotous” and “patience-testing.” Many more words come to mind.
Did I tell you that Matthew and Rachel are expecting their first baby in a few weeks? Well, they are. We are thrilled with this prospect of having another grandbaby, and I guess stuffing ourselves into our car and driving down to St. Louis to work for them for a day was as good a way to channel that excess energy as any. Right? Better than sitting around the house and waiting for the ‘phone to ring, anyway.
I’m already starting to wake up and cuddle the new little dolly in my arms. Our second-oldest son Andrew and his lovely wife Sonia made us grandparents just over a year ago, and I wrote about that wonderful experience here.
We usually travel in much more style and grace in our large well-appointed Suburban, but since there were only five of us to travel this time, and since our beloved ‘Burb was in the shop, and since gasoline is quite expensive, we opted for the cheaper alternative: Bryan’s commute car. Oiy. And we were taking not only our luggage, and some baby supplies for Matthew and Rachel, but also most of Bryan’s power tools from his shop–to aid in the building project that the boys were going to do. I don’t know how Bryan stuffed it all in the trunk. I really don’t. That man is a magician, honestly.
Lucky I had my camera along, so I could take pictures of interesting sights along the way, since there was no way in the WORLD that I could actually buy anything. Not even a frozen gooseberry, sadly. Our car was packed that full.
One of our more charming stops (and we made plenty of them!) was at a “Bulk Foods and Produce Store” near Bridgeton, Missouri. As soon as I stepped in the door, I wanted to just live there. But first, I wanted to go home and get the Suburban so I could buy something. Anything, please, honey–just one thing? Only what you can hold in your lap, my husband said, in the tones of a man who is tired of having his knee caps up against his chin, and maybe more than a little weary of hearing the three children in the back seat complain about stiff legs and hunger and sore bottoms and general crowded conditions.
Anyway, back to the store–there were homemade cheese curds, bulk herbs, homemade Mennonite rolls and breads, and there were bulk foods and produce, too, as promised on the abundant signage . . . also shelves and shelves of homemade jams and jellies. Honestly, if I hadn’t been so frustrated at not being able to buy anything, I would have taken more pictures to share with you. Hymns were playing over the speakers. A fresh-faced Mennonite girl smiled at us from behind the counter.
Finally, after sighing over and over about not being able to buy anything (still sighing, actually), Bryan did allow me to buy a couple of (very small) bags of tapioca, one for my Mom and one for me. That was it. But I’m going back. Mark my words!
Well, enough about the squishy overcrowded car and the charming little Mennonite store which I shall return to, soon!
Now to our destination: Matthew and Rachel’s apartment. See what we found there:
Matthew and Rachel’s apartment was charmingly appointed with New Baby Decor, with laundry baskets full of cloth diapers and tiny baby clothes and receiving blankets and the like, waiting for trips through the washer and dryer. There was an impossibly soft and massive stuffed animal next to the couch, and other baby supplies dotted around. It was very sweet and cozy and pleasantly anticipatory, in the best possible way.
I love that.
We had a great day with our expectant kids-soon-to-be-parents, and before we wanted it to be, it was time to (ugh!) load up the car and head for home. We saw a few interesting sights on our way home, as you might well expect. Oh, and since you’re probably wondering, the “Twin Oaks Produce and Bulk Foods” store was closed, it being Sunday. Alas.
A convenience store was full of interesting sights:
I made my little Mack extraordinarily happy by spending a mere $1.39. Can you buy happiness for so little? In this case, yes. By the way, see that cute little gap-toothed grin? Those two teeth are loose (as of yesterday) so this grin is going to change shape very soon.
My daughter Amalia is as much a punctuation and grammar nerd as I am, so we spent quite a bit of time in a restroom snorting over this signage: why the quotes around the words “soap and water,” we wondered. Was the soap and water actually something else, but going by the words soap and water? And why on earth the optional “s” after disease? Isn’t the word “disease” in itself enough? Isn’t the word “disease” as used here already in its plural form, thus not needing the addition of the “s” at all, especially encased in parentheses?
Okay, and there was this one, too:
Well, I suppose that’s enough glib observations about sights on our trip. I hope something in your day today gives you plenty of chuckles!
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