Wednesday, May 29, 2019

When and where you least expect it

This is not an ice cream or frozen custard story. Please read to discover what happened here this weekend that made me bow my head.

Ted Drewes has been an icon in St. Louis. MO for 90 years. Ted is a famous tennis pro who traveled to Florida with The Royal American Circus one summer, where he sold ice cream. He returned to St. Louis and opened his own frozen custard shops. 

This is the most frequented location, on Old Route 66  also known as Chippewa Street. This old building has about a dozen walk up windows. The frozen custard is delicious; the secret ingredient is honey. They make concretes (you can hold the filled cup of custard upside down and it won't spill) and the varieties are endless. My favorites: Hot fudge sundae, The Punmpkin Crete (with a piece of pumpkin pie mixed in) or The Big Apple (slice of apple crumb pie mixed in) but  there are so many choices!  
 This is how popular Ted Drewes is. And this is a nightly occurence on any summer night. They need police presence to direct traffic.
 Even in winter, people stop in to buy what locals refer to as "Ted Drewes", although I'm sure the old man is not really for sale. His granddaughter and her husband now own the business. See the heated area?
It is not uncommon to see wedding parties here, the bride in her gown, and all the attendants devouring custard. People bring their dogs for a cold treat, too. You never know what to expect. To think, when I was young I never went there, fearing frozen custard was like the custard pie my parents made me eat. LOL

This Monday we went to Ted Drewes with my daughter and her husband. The woman in front of us had her head poked into the open window and was begging the young attendant for more dry ice. The manager came to the window and told her he could only sell her 30 pounds. "I promise I talked to  a man here who told me I could purchase the entire 45 pounds." 

Customers often ask to have their custard orders packed in dry ice for travel. People in line asked in amazement how much custard they were transporting. Her husband said, "None."

The wife said, "It's for my chemo treatments. I have four helmets that have to be packed in dry ice and roatated every twenty minutes so I don't lose my hair when I receive chemo on Tuesday. With this being a holiday, I couldn't get my supply from my provider, a welding company, because they're closed."

At a place where people go for comfort food, to cheat on diets, to meet and mingle, to people watch, I bowed my head and said a prayer for this woman. The manager, called to her as she wrangled the box out the window, "Wait! We will sell you the other 15 pounds."


Thursday, May 23, 2019

Is that who I think it is?

When I placed my order, I recognized her voice, her smile, her dancing eyes. 

But recently a clerk returned my I.D. and said, "Here you go Ms. Linda."
Thrilled, I asked, "Were you one of my students?"  She looked at me like I was crazy.
So I hesitated to ask another person.

As I stood in line waiting for my order, I kept staring at her, and she at me. I walked to a table and asked her coworker what this young woman's name was because her name tag was turned around. When her coworker told me, I walked right back up to the counter. "Come give me a hug!" I said and we embraced as though all the years had never passed. "Ms. Linda! I thought that was you!"  She snuggled like the little girl she used to be.
Her dad, a journalist and activist, who had a positive impact in our town, recently passed away. I had taught all of Shaqaunda's siblings. I hoped to attend her dad's memorial, but had to attend a grandchild's event that afternoon. I felt terrible missing her dad's service.

 Was it a coincidence I was in the right place at the right time? Hmmm. I was able to express my condolences in person. I caught up on what she and all of her siblings were doing. I asked her to express my sympathy to her mom. Serendipity.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Breaking News

Nicole spent two years in my preschool class. She was an outstanding student. She loved reporting the news of the day. Here's her big news: Nicole graduated elementary and is going into middle school. We are so proud of her.

No matter the size of  YOUR accomplishments, pat yourself on the back for a job well done. Never say I CAN'T. Say I CAN TRY!

Liam graduated preschool and received an award for the Best Dancer. You should see him boogie!
Be confident and proud of yourself. Let your little light shine!

Alex is on the road to many discoveries. His big brother is a big helper.

Always lend a helping hand. 
Never lose your sense of wonder. Spend some time in nature.

Don't be afraid to try new things.

Express yourself.  Charlie did when he saw a semi truck going by.

Commencement: a beginning. Every single day you get a new beginning, so make the most of each day.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Happy Mother's Day, Mom

Happy Mother's Day to my mother in heaven. She was a tiny little thing with a big heart and deep abiding love for her family, especially her grandchildren.  She taught us about God and demonstrated her faith every day. Her laughter still resonates in my heart and makes me feel joyous. I miss her. I had a "visit" from her early this morning, and my heart is filled with love and gratitude as a result.

I am grateful for all the women in my life, from teachers, to aunts, to friends who mothered me.
 I am grateful for my daughter, daughter-in-law, stepdaughters and granddaughter for their loving care and dedication to my grands and great grands.

Motherhood is tiresome, and the rewards aren't immediately seen because we are so focused on the moments of chaos, and we are always looking forward to the next stage, the next thing!

Looking back, I wish I had been more patient and less rushing.  Softer spoken and more tender. My kids survived despite my shortcomings.  Here is a link to my story about my mom printed in, and posted at Sasee Magazine.

Here is a link to Chicken Soup for the Soul Mom Knows Best

Happy Mother's Day to allof you and thank you for reading my blog.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Message from the boss

Mom is making a name for me...err herself. She wrote about how I found her and Dad on a cold winter day and sweet talked them into adopting me. Okay, so maybe I yowled, but these days I merely meow softly. Our story is in Chicken Soup for the Soul Life Lessons From the Cat

She read Dad and me the story, and I sat and listened to every single word. I like hearing about how they resuced me. 

 She won a photo contest last year in our local paper: Pets who love their people.

Yeah they think they own me. Ha ha. You can bet it's the other way around.
 I have them trained. I do not answer to any of the names they call me, not even the name my first owner gave me. I do answer when Mom says in a high pitched voice, "You want to eeeeeat?" I can be sound asleep and when she sweet talks me like that, I whip my head around to see if she's teasing.

As you can see, she ususally isn't. I may have gained a couple pounds in six months. I'm chubby and lazy, err, I mean realxed these days. It's difficult to leave the loving arms of my Dad who tells me, "You may have started out life as a tough guy, but you are becoming kittenfied." I am almost five years old! We are best buds, in case you can't tell. We're good for one another.

Mom calls me Sassy Boy. But I have toned down my yowling, and I don't sass as much. I don't even make a sound or resist when she trims my nails or wipes my eyes. She says I should be doing my own grooming. But why?

At bedtime, I galump down the hallway, pounce onto their bed, creep up and look into each of their faces and softly meow. They think I am saying goodnight, but I am really saying THANK YOU.

Then I snuggle by their feet and snooze until ahhh, somehwere between 5:30 and 6:00. I used to caterwaul, but now I walk all over them and mewl like when I was a kitten, until someone gets up and serves me breakfast.

I am even getting used to their three little rug rats who visit twice a week. They slip me food and treats, even though that middle kid keeps dumping some of my treats in my water bowl. Mom keeps saying, "Bend down closer and put it in the plate." He's learning. I'm adapting.

Dad has the magic touch. He massages me just right. Mom is too tender. I like how Dad rubs my sides and neck and belly. Yeah, my belly! PURRRRRRRRRRRfect....
Mom's latest Chicken Soup for the Soul story (her 29th book)  will be released on May 14th. Check it out. I'll bet there's a cat lover in your life who would appreciate reading my story. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Requesting support for a worthy cause

Saturday will be here before you know it! May 11th will be the seventh annual performance of Listen to Your Mother. I am part of this cast.

We have stories to tell about ourselves, our kids, our moms, our pasts, our daily lives, our challenges, our triumphs. The stories will make you cry, sigh and say, "Oh my!" They will resonate long after the performances, which are at 11 or 3pm.

I do hope you can make it. Bring a girlfriend, your sister, or mom. This is a show you will talk about for a long while.

Tickets are still available, and the proceeds benefit St. Louis Ovarian Cancer Awareness. Thank you to Laura Ray, Naomi Smith Francis, and all the sponsors.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

Speed on!

Not everything is black and white, and attitude is everything! I took Liam, age 41/2 and Alex, 20 months to the Science Center, a free attraction in our town which has new and fun interactive exhibits. 

We were delighted to discover the Gaming Exhibit Room with many scientific experiments.

 Alex stood on tip toes to feed chunks of coal (black rubber) into a "blast furnace" which lit up with its energy source. There were simple oversized games such as Checkers, basketball, and many more ball games...everything to hand-held game systems and arcade video driving games.

Liam loved it. He steered and cheered, even when he plowed into an object on the screen. 
Alex was along for the ride, and he had as much fun being a passenger as Liam did as a driver.
When the ride was over, Liam pointed to the screen images of his cracked windshield and damaged car, and said proudly, "See, Nana, I did that, 'cause I'm a driver."

We are all drivers, no matter what our occupation or path in life. We round curves cautiously or with daring do. We approach obstacles head on or swerve at the last minute to avoid a collision.

Don't hold back, meet your challenges and goals. Be proud of your attempts, even if you didn't achieve the intended goal. Try, and then try again. It's the trying that really matters. Give it your all, color your life, and GO!