The Living Without Series

This is a series of posts that I wrote back in 2006 on living with less stuff. Check them out: liv011Living #2liv031liv04

Coal Creek Farm on Facebook

The Chicken Doctor

April

The Architect

Clay

Cat Massage

Because I have nothing brilliant to say.

Un-Proud Moments in St. Louis History

The first time someone invited me to their home after we moved here I was in such a funk that my conversation was bleak to say the least.  This wonderfully hospitable woman invited me and my children into her home, fed us and tried desperately to have a nice conversation with me, but I was not capable of reciprocating.  Here’s some of the highlights;

Nice Lady- Do you like to travel?
April- Um, yeah, if I can sleep while someone else drives.
Nice Lady- If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
Now let’s pause for a moment in this conversation to do some ‘splainin‘.  We had been living in the moldy basement of Clay’s grandmother’s home for a month or more, we were in the process of buying a house “as is” which is the nice way to say “it’ll never pass an inspection” and we were broke.  I couldn’t think about traveling farther than the next tank of gas so any visions of world travel were not on my radar.  I couldn’t even be bothered to pause and dream a little.  So my answer was….
Uhhhh, Chicago I guess.
Chicago?  That’s where I would go?  Chicago?!  I’ve been to Chicago, a few times.  Oh, if I could take that moment back I would.  I’d have been happy, perky, winsome and I would have said Europe!  For the love of God I want to go to Europe!  Not Chicago!
Then after eating lunch and watching the children play for a little while it was time for me to go.  I watched as she set her toddler down, the same toddler I had watched play earlier with my children and I asked, “Oh, is he walking?”  Uh, yes he had been walking all over the place the entire time I was there.  I tell ya, I was checked out.  The bad thing is those are the parts I remember, who knows what other dribble came leaking out of me.  
Our little playtime ended with her spraying Febreze in the trunk of my car because I had complained about the wretched smell of some spilled milk.  You know the old saying ‘don’t cry over spilled milk’, well I think I was doing plenty of crying-whining-complainig and all around negative vomiting all over everything.  I wish she would have sprayed me too.  She never invited me over again and I don’t blame her.  
I’ve wanted to apologize for that day for many years, but I think the damage was done.  So now if she reads this blog, which I don’t think she does….but in the off chance….I’m sorry I was such a negative piece of poop when you first met me.  Thank you for inviting me over and feeding me a wonderful bowl of soup, which you didn’t know and of course I didn’t tell you, is my favorite food.  I did learn something that day and I’ve tried to use it a couple times, hospitality to a stranger.  Hopefully, I’ll get to use it again real soon.   

St. Louis

Well, the time is drawing near. We have one week and four days until we head out to our new home. I’ve been thinking about the things I’ll miss here in St. Louis. Most of them are the humans, but I’ll miss other things like;

-Going to the zoo on a fall day and buying a bag of kettle corn.
Kirkwood farmer’s market, although when I first went to KFM I was sorely disappointed because the farmer’s market I was used to was a huge parking lot full of actual farmers selling locally grown produce and homemade delicacies, but I grew to love the flowers and fruit sold at KFM.
-Michelle’s Cafe
-Solid Rock Cafe, Eureka’s Christian coffee house, too cute.
-Chesterfield Mall movie theatre, it’s so new and clean I don’t feel like I’m sitting in filth.
-St. Louis Bread Co., it’s called Panera in Kansas, but we’re going to keep calling it Bread Co.
Ballwin Christian Learning Center, what a great resource for home schoolers to use.
-My church, goodness there won’t be another one like it.
-Cardinals baseball, even though I’m not a fan, my husband and son are and I like watching them enjoy baseball and St. Louis is 1st rate when it comes to baseball. Okay, nevermind, this is a lie, I hate baseball.
-The free activities that are so readily available here to entertain my kids on a boring day like the parks with fountains, Grant’s Farm, St. Louis Science Center and the Art Museum.
Now, do you want to know the stuff I won’t miss? Yes, you do.
– Top of my list Missouri Department of Motor Vehicles…..I hate you. Strong words, but I can’t think of a more true feeling that I have for that organization.
-People asking me what high school I went to. It’s weird people.
-I44, I270, Manchester, Lindbergh, Ballas, Ladue, Watson, Sappington. I won’t miss driving and getting stuck in traffic on any of those roads.
-Driving 20 minutes to get anywhere.
-City taxes taken out of my husband’s paycheck
-Parking fees taken out of my husband’s paycheck
-My family being 5 and 10 hours away.
-The bigness of everything. Everything has to be bigger and better. Like the perfectly good swimming pool that was torn out to make a gigantic water park and the baseball stadium torn down to build a bigger one and on and on. I guess it’s called progress, but to me it’s called silly. St. Louis is just too big for this girl.
-One of the problems with having so many wonderful resources at your fingertips is the feeling that you need to constantly be doing something. It’s hard to find people around here that can just be still and be happy. I’ve never seen so many people fill their time with so much stuff. It’s a little nuts and a bit infectious, so I won’t miss thinking I need to be constantly filling my time with “stuff”. I know that’s critical of me, but it was one of my first impressions of this place and it hasn’t subsided for nine years.
That’s it. Eleven more days. I think I’ll run the gamut of emotions before the big day. I’m trying to stay as happy and positive as I can for my kids. They are not going to leave this place without a lot of tears being shed, for that matter I don’t think I will either.