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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


The Architect


Broken Foot goes to the zoo.

Look!  I’m finally writing about our St. Louis trip.  I tell you what, we packed a week worth of events into two days and I still feel like I’m recovering.  But, it could be that I just got back from my high school reunion then went straight to celebrating my wedding anniversary and have slept maybe 9 hours in four days.

You might recognize the two people in the photo as our good friends Bryan and Melanie who have come to visit Coal Creek Farm many times.  We stayed at their house which is a good 40 minutes from the city.  The first day we were in town Bryan took Clay and four of the children into St. Louis to drop Clay off at his old office to have lunch with his buddies then Byran and the kids were going to meet Melanie, the other two kids, and I at the zoo.

Getting Melanie out of the house is like asking an elephant to crawl through a keyhole.  I know people that are late, but Melanie isn’t so late as she’s complicated.  She will need to repaint her toenails the very second you put your hand on the door to leave or she’ll need to repack her purse or grab twenty-five gadgets that she will surely need, she’ll need to read a book, send an email, make a phone call, comb her daughter’s hair, shave, changer her outfit, paint the house, clean the bathroom, eat a sandwich, trim a tree, organize the Tupperware drawer….you get the idea, right?  She rarely leaves anything behind, when she packs she has EVERYTHING, which is great when you’re with her, because if you need gum or a tissue, which I always do, she has got you covered and probably by the case load.  Thank God in Heaven she is the sweetest, most charming, adorable person, otherwise she might irritate me.

Back to my story.  I am in the car with the kids waiting for Melanie, because she had to run back into the house to get something.  I knew the second she stepped back into the house I wouldn’t see her for a while, so I grabbed a church directory off her dashboard…what?  You don’t have a church directory or two in your car just in case?  Anyway, I grabbed the directory to read through the names to see who was new to the church we used to attend.  Minutes passed and I wasn’t concerned because it’s Melanie.  I think I got to the letter T in the directory when Melanie opened the car door and plopped herself in the driver’s seat huffing and puffing, “I hurt my foot.”  She said wincing in pain.  “I looked at her foot and saw a huge bump bulging on the side of her foot, “Oh, my gosh!  Melanie! What do you want to do?”

I asked her if she wanted me to drive, but she wanted to drive to keep herself distracted from the pain.  After writing that I realize how stupid that sounds.

We were finally on our way and Melanie told me that as she ran into the house she kicked her flip flops off and caught her toe in one of them, tripped and landing on the floor with her foot making a loud popping sound.  When she looked at her foot all she could see was it twisted awkwardly.  She laid on the floor in agony wondering how she was ever going to get off the floor and extremely worried about how mad I was going to be at her for taking so long.  I loved how she was concerned about pissing me off, that made me feel like a really great friend.


We made it to the zoo and spent exactly 45 minutes there.  It was a scorching, humid summer day in St. Louis and the zoo was HOT!  Except for the penguin and puffin exhibit which is FREEZING and smells like fish.  Everybody at the zoo wants to be in there when it’s hot outside.  Bryan rented a wheelchair for Melanie, which was the only way she was going to be able to move, her foot kept getting more and more swollen and turning black and blue.

The zoo has cooling stations located throughout that spit out a mist of cool water for the visitors to get relief from the heat.  But, we were done and Melanie needed to get her youngest to a birthday party.  I took my kids and Melanie’s daughter to eat lunch and then we headed to Clay’s old office to retrieve him.

That’s afternoon we had been invited to another friend’s house to swim and have dinner.  I told her I would stop by a bakery to get dessert.

Federhofer’s was the bakery that I used when we lived in St. Louis if I wanted to pick up something special.  They have the best little butter cookies, petit fours, breads, cakes and if you like them, gooey butter cakes.  I personally never cared for the St. Louis traditional gooey butter cakes.  People rave over them, but I think they taste like an undercooked cake.  Which apparently is how they came about, a baker used the wrong measurements but sold the messed up cakes anyway and wah-la people loved it.  I think they’re gross.  I spent 9 years living in St. Louis having to eat them because everyone thinks it’s the best dessert to serve to company or take to a potluck.  I would just eat the edge piece which was more cooked.

More to come about our St. Louis visit….

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