All Roads Lead to New Glarus Pt. 1- A Travel/Memoir Series – Retelling of a Story

My father once said, “All roads lead to New Glarus.” Throughout the years a small town in Southwestern Wisconsin seems to have repeated itself in significance. Our tapestry has been woven traveling through, in and around this lovely weekend getaway spot. The rolling hills and deeply cut valleys reminded the early Swiss settlers of their homeland.

I’ll never forget the first time I found myself in New Glarus, Wisconsin. It was a late August afternoon, and the air was starting to smell like newly sharpened pencils. Locusts played their organ-grinding songs, and all that grows grew golden. Thoughts of going back to school lurked in the back of my mind, causing me to capture each moment and savor it like a piece of creamy, milk chocolate melting slowly over my tongue. Every hour was precious freedom.

My family strolled down the main street of a town proclaiming to be “America’s Swiss Village.” With almost-black rough wood beams criss-crossing over white stucco, the buildings looked like they could have been in Glarus, Switzerland. Under the windows, geraniums spilled out of flower boxes. Passing a storefront with sausages hanging in the window, my nose crinkled trying to distinguish the fragrance of spice and uncooked red meat, an odor foreign to my young nose. Church bells broke into exultation, signaling that it was half past the hour.

New Glarus Photos
This photo of New Glarus is courtesy of TripAdvisor

As my father opened the door to the New Glarus Baking Company, the unfamiliar tunes of an accordion playing bouncy polka music blasted into the street. A shaft of light streamed down the staircase and beckoned us to follow it’s guidance to the pinnacle and into the tea room.

I sat on the smooth, wooden chair, my feet almost touching the ground. the side of the table at which I sat was against the wall, facing the window. My parents sat across from me. They were surrounded by the bright sunshine, which created halos around their forms like the paintings on Eastern Orthodox icons. The tables were adorned with white linen cloths and napkins and in the center of each one was a bud vase with a silk red carnation reaching towards the ceiling. The waitress came to take our order wearing a customary Swiss peasant dress. She looked like a member of the Van Trap Family.

New Glarus Images
This photo of New Glarus is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Soon after ordering, my father was drinking a cup of coffee. Mother was checking a glass for water spots. I, on the other hand, was about to dive into a biscuit with a creamy chicken gravy, topped with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream. My mouth watered. The sound of silver on china now accompanied the accordion as the velvety flavors exploded in my mouth.

Looking down on the last bite, I realized that just as I was about to enjoy the last of this delectable treat, I was also enjoying the last moment of my family vacation. Surprisingly, new notebooks, pens and shoes seemed like a welcome adventure after spending lazy days in the summer heat. I leaned back in my chair satisfied with my meal and with my fifth grade summer vacation.

To read the next installment of this story click here.

Linking with Imperfect Prose

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Finding Holy In The Process – TOYS Linkup

I look out of a slightly smudged window and wish I had some Windex, smirking at the irony of it all. I’ve been trying to make out my destiny through cloudy glass for some time now. My destination has been made much more clear as of late.  I thought I had finished my life’s greatest work, only to find that I’ve only just begun. The train jolts then creeps forward. I say goodbye to everything near and dear and hello to the exciting unknown, I will be farther from home than ever before. I feel like a girl leaving for college, except that I am forty-four years old, and my face shows years of pain and smiles and now an unexpected emotion, surprise. I thought I was used up and empty…I guess I was wrong.

Soon I am in another state; both in geography and mind. Amtrak has very wisely planned for Iowa and Nebraska to be in the dark, and that is where I have been…in the dark. Ordinary, everyday, hardworking dark. And next morning after sleeping beside a strange man, bright sunshine makes alive every sensation I have. I wake in Denver. The air sparkles with the expectation of rising higher than I’ve ever been before.

The mile-high city lays at the foot of a new and different world, and the train lurches forward to meet it. In a matter of minutes I have gone from looking east as far as the eye can see to facing west, and my future, with only a wall of rock in front of me. The train leans toward a precipice. The dizzy sensation I have when I look down feels familiar. I resume an upward gaze. The train works to climb, and gravity resists the change in altitude. We go through a tunnel…an eleven minute tunnel. All is dark, and the weight of a mountain presses in on every side. I try to imagine I’m in a traffic tunnel on the Kennedy expressway back home.  It is the only way I do not panic.I wonder if this is how Lot’s wife felt when she looked longingly at the life she left behind. I exhale in relief when bright sunshine flashes before us, craning my neck to look forward and see my future, instead I can’t see the forest for the trees.

The soil gets redder and the air drier, until all that surrounds me is parched. Have I been on a train or a rocket ship? Because I’d swear this was Mars. No life as far as the eye can see. Only strange and forlorn rock formations. I can not help but wonder what happened here. Was it always this way? How long have I been here? Time stands still in this place, for there is nothing to measure it but the scorching, searing, sun. I am desperate for change.

Night falls in Utah. Train stops in Salt Lake City. There are no cabs to be found. Eleven p.m. looks very different in Salt Lake City than it does in Chicago. A small group of college kids party at the end of the block. I call my hotel to see if they offer a shuttle service. They don’t, but they are coming to get me anyway. I waddle through the door of my room, drop my bags and wear my loneliness like a robe. I’ve never stayed in a hotel room alone before. The room is fabulous, but all I can think about is how much my family would be enjoying this trip…the family I feel like I am leaving behind. But truth be told, they leave me behind for their bright and bold futures.

I crash on the bed and sit up hours later in the early morning light. I make my way across town, suitcase in tow. I’m the minority here, a Christian in a Mormon world. It’s Sunday morning and I wait for a shuttle bus at the LDS convention center. Everyone ignores a bum asking for money. They are late for Sunday morning service. I bow my head in recognition. I’ve done this, been too busy serving God to notice how I might best serve Him. I walk over and offer the man a few protein bars. He gladly receives them.

My fellow passenger is a very enthusiastic Mormon convert who is determined to convert me. My spirit pleads with God while conversing pleasantly, desperate to show this young man a different Jesus than he knows. We pray for one another as we cross a bridge popular for bungy jumping. I free fall, not knowing how to land, but trusting His arms to catch me.

I am met at the airport in Boise by a temporary stranger. A lovely lady. She shows me around town and feeds me homemade soup that heals my soul. I am looking forward to tomorrow and learning about my new life as an Executive Director with Love, INC.

I wake to the smell of coffee and my new friend and I have a sticky communion of waffles with syrup and cold milk. Different than crackers and wine. It is then that I recognize it. The blur comes into focus. For I’ve been on holy ground the whole time. Holy ground on the train embarking on a new life. Holy ground in Iowa and Nebraska in the dark but trusting the conductor to help me arrive at my destination. Holy ground in the mountains when the journey is frightening and I could not see ahead. Holy ground in the desert when my soul thirsted for Him and Him alone. Holy ground on the mission field when I was alone, but never alone. Holy ground when I grieved for the end of era, the end of a role. Holy ground in the making of a new friend…All is holy when you see through the Planner’s eyes, because He’s planned for it all. Mistakes and everything.

 

Won’t you join me next week to hear about my ride home?

Won’t you join me on Fridays for a new series and linkup called, “Take Off Your Shoes, You’re On Holy Ground!” or TOYS? Each week a post will be shared about the significance of a place and you will be able to share as well!! Just 1) Write a post about how a place has ministered to you. 2) Add your post to the linkup. 3) Add the button to your post. 4)Visit and encourage your neighbors!

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The Apology – New Glarus Road Series

If you need to catch up on the New Glarus Series, check out the New Glarus page…

The next day, Grandma(Mama), Papa(Daddy), J. and I went to New Glarus. The weather had turned chilly overnight, and we all wore windbreakers. Daddy wore the forest green jacket that Mama still wears in his absence.  J. wore his Osh Kosh B’Gosh conductor overalls and cap with a navy sweatshirt.  Mama and I wore cozy sweaters.

We thought that it was about time J. went to the Swiss Historical Village in New Glarus, where they have live demonstrations of how the settlers lived here in south central Wisconsin.  After all, he was four years old, and had never been to New Glarus before!

The day was crisp and crunchy.  The first of autumn’s leaves carpeted planked sidewalks, and memories of this dear town invaded my mind.  I pushed them away, not sure I could handle the bittersweet pain of them at the moment.

The four of us came near the entrance where a construction worker poured concrete.  Daddy didn’t see the sign.  Wet concrete.

His foot made an outline.  All was silent.  J. looked up past the brim of his hat at the worker.  This very shy, soft spoken child spoke. “Sorry, man,” he apologized for his grandfather.  He hung his head in shame, as if a serious crime had just been committed.  Little did I know that such a sweet and funny family story, would so effectively outline the kindness and character of who J. would become; tender, compassionate, funny, responsible and truly a man of God.  His sister would later tell me that he was one of the people she admired most.  Oops, did I say sister?  That is quite another story altogether.

For the next story click here

Linking with the incredible Jen at Soli Deo Gloria


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Even in Our Darkest Hour, Life. Is. Good. New Glarus Series

If you need to catch up on the New Glarus Series, check out the New Glarus page

Life was not good.  Things didn’t work out for T. and me.  I was never good enough, and his personal choices finally caught up to him.

Where did this leave me?  I was a 29 year old woman, who had never been out on her own, and now I needed to be the sole provider for myself and my 3 year old son, J.  I was, by nature, a helper, a second in command.  My resume consisted of my working at a church, selling retail, working at another church, and selling Mary Kay cosmetics.  I wasn’t exactly a hot commodity on the job market.

My parents helped me to buy a small trailer near the church.  My church family helped me when I was honest enough about my needs.  But…I was cryptic.  For one thing, I wanted to be in control of my own life.  For another, no one likes the person who cloaks their needs in a prayer request.  Our basic food groups were milk, cereal and ramen noodles.

My married friends, with the exception of Steve and Sue, quietly exited my life.  My single friends didn’t have children.  I felt like I fit no where.  There was no one to turn to, except Jesus.

I remember once, when someone dear to me reacted to my pipe dream of making it “big” in Mary Kay.  They wisely answered, “Are you sure?  Because I don’t see you doing that.”  It wasn’t that they thought I couldn’t do it, it was that they knew me better than I knew myself at that moment.  I gave myself out of a business.  After all, who could tell the dear elderly lady that she couldn’t have a lipstick at cost?  I certainly couldn’t.

One day, my pastor called me asking if I would work for the church.  I was relieved.  I was disappointed.  I was grateful.  I adored working at the church.  I had a constant support group loving me toward wholeness.  I was in a positive and warm environment, and I found the work tremendously fulfilling.  But it still wasn’t enough to make ends meet.  Every demon in the county seemed to be whispering, “T. was right.  You can’t do anything right.  You can’t even take care of yourself and J.”

I often found myself flat on my face before God.  In actuality, this was one of the best times in my life.  It was a Wilderness of sorts.  Everyday, I waited on God for manna.  Everday, it came.  Everyday, I asked God why I wasn’t able to make it on my own.  Everyday He answered, “My grace is sufficient.  I don’t want to to make it on your own.  I want you to depend on Me.” Often, I would have to scour the car for loose change to get a gallon of milk or gas, which ever one was most necessary at the time.  But we always had what we needed.  Always.

It was during this time that my parents invited J. and me up to Wisconsin for a much needed trip to New Glarus.  I packed my little man into the backseat of my 1988 Chevy, and slid in through the passenger side since the driver’s side door was broken.  It was a far cry from the Lexus and Porsche that used to be parked in my garage.

“I must be the most proud woman in the world, otherwise why would I need to be humbled so greatly?”  I wondered.

Three hours later, I pulled into my parent’s long black driveway, remembering the horror of Sue’s accident. Shaking the memories away, I pulled J. out of the car, his chubby little arms encircled my neck and his rosy cheek pressed against mine.

Mama knows how to present food like no one else.  She had an alfresco lunch complete with linens and china, waiting for me under the locust tree.  The lacy shadows flickered on the dark green carpet of grass.

“Welcome to your day at the spa!”  She announced.  J. ran to give her a hug, and I collapsed in the chair.  There was cool cucumber salad and homemade macaroni and Wisconsin cheese.  Mozart blasted through the house windows, and J. and Grandma played Zorro with an oversized black scarf and hat.  The comfort of home wrapped around me like a warm blanket just taken out of the dryer.  And even if it was just for the moment.  Life. Was. Good.

For the next installment click here
Linking up with the talented and beautiful Jen.

Till Death Do Us Part? Husbands, Babies and Friends – New Glarus Series

This story started out as complete truth. However, as I’ve continued, I’ve changed small details. For instance, some of these events happened within a 30 miles radius of New Glarus…and I don’t remember exactly how I was proposed to…anywho…just wanted to be honest…If you are interested in the other installments start here.

Three long years passed.  Steve and Sue and a myriad of other friends were married and had already started their families.  Although we were the first to get married, we hadn’t even thought of having a baby yet.  Baby S. was a plump little boy of seven months, with a triple chin and blue eyes; a rounder baby, I’ve never seen.

Early that spring, the five of us decided to pay my parents a visit in Wisconsin.  This brought me great relief.  Life was much more tolerable when T. and I were with other people, as it seemed I could do very little correctly when we were home alone.  He could actually be quite romantic and gentlemanly around others. After settling in our temporary quarters at my parent’s home, and Baby S. was down for a nap, the four of us discussed our day trip to New Glarus the following day.

The next morning, Steve and Sue sat down to breakfast with the “I love New Glarus” tee shirts they had purchased on our last trip a few years previous.  We helped mom clean up, and T. and I were ready to go.  But it seemed like it took forever for Steve and Sue and Baby S. to get going.  Babies made everything more complicated! I had never been on a trip with a baby before, and couldn’t believe all of the paraphernalia we had to bring along!!  There were diapers, strollers, extra clothes, and sunscreen.  After packing the car with what seemed like enough supplies for a week, we strapped the baby into the car seat. We were finally settled.

“You know, I really should nurse him before we leave, that way he’ll sleep on the way,” announced Sue.

T. glowered.  So, we unstrapped the baby, went back inside and waited for Baby S.’s feeding to be done.  Sue came back with a grinning, satisfied baby in her arms….

“Look at him smile!”  I said.  “He looks as though he’s enjoyed a good meal.”

“Uh-oh,”  Sue answered, “He’s not smiling, he’s filling his pants!”

So…we waited until he was done “doing his duty”, and then Sue changed his diaper and once again we strapped the baby into his seat, loaded ourselves into the van, waved goodbye to my parents, and finally got on the road to New Glarus.

It was a little rainy, and we hoped that by the time we arrived, the weather would turn.  To our disappointment, it only rained harder.  As we pulled into town, Baby S. was screaming to be fed and the rain made the view look like an impressionist canvas using only black, white and grey paint.

“I thought you checked the weather Kim!”  T. snapped.  He knew we couldn’t walk around town with a baby in a stroller during a monsoon.

“I did! It said we only had a 30% chance of light showers,” I  quietly defended myself, looking to see if Steve and Sue noticed the catch in my voice.

There was a tense quiet in the car.  “At least we won’t get sunburned!”  Steve tried to find the silver lining in everything.  It was usually annoying, but this time I was relieved and gave him a quick smile of gratitude.

We parked on the Main Street and opted to eat an early dinner at Ticino’s, a pizzeria named after the Italian Cannon in Switzerland.

The atmosphere was quaint, and the thin pizza amazing, even if it was sprinkled with Cheerios from Baby S.  We still had hope that the rain would let up and we could browse at all of our favorite shops. Lingering as long as the shrieking Baby S. would allow (even though the squeals were happy ones, the other customers had begun to stare), the rain was coming down even harder than it was before.

“Let me just run across the street so that I can buy the baby a matching tee shirt, then the trip won’t be a complete loss.” Sue suggested.

The guys stayed at the table with the baby, while Sue and I shattered silver puddles to the other side of the street.

I paused remembering that it was this very store that T. had whisked me away from in order to propose to me at the Christmas store.  It was this very store where he declared that someday, he would buy all of my clothes for me.  He did, and lucky for me he had very good taste, but I longed for the freedom Sue had to purchase tacky tee shirts if I wanted to.  However, the whole stroll down memory lane, caused me to feel warm and fuzzy and I wanted to get back to T. and break the tension that had been there all morning.

When Sue and I returned to the restaurant, we were soaked.  The baby had thrown all of his remaining Cheerios in a circle around his high chair which was now pulled up to a karate video game that T. and Steve were playing.  Baby S. was shrieking with delight at being left to himself.

“Steve!  Why did you let him make such a mess while we were gone?”

“We were busy,” he responded, eyes still glued to the video game.

Sue was on her hands and knees picking up as many Cheerios as she could, while I came behind T. and wrapped by arms around his waist.  He was in deep concentration with the intense game he was playing, he didn’t seem to notice my attempt at peace.

The sky did brighten a little before we got everyone packed in the car again.

“Maybe tomorrow, we’ll bring out the dirt bike, if it isn’t raining cats and dogs again,” T. suggested.

The next morning was quite a bit cooler, but there wasn’t any rain.  After attending my parent’s church, Baby S. was taking a nap, Sue and I were helping my mom make chili and the guys were on the driveway messing with T.’s dirt bike.

“This chili needs more chili powder!”  Sue announced.  She dumped in a couple of tablespoons more.  Mom and I exchanged knowing glances, for we were sure this would be the spiciest chili ever, but not about to cross her opinion, we conceded.

“I’m gonna go out there and see if the boys will let me give a try on the dirt bike.  I used to ride one when I was younger.  Do you mind keeping an eye on the baby for awhile?”  Sue asked me.

“No, go ahead.  Have fun.”

She treked out to the front yard, and T.  handed her the helmet and showed her a few things on the bike.  I thought I’d watch her first run and cheer on Team Girl, since the boys thought they could hog the bike for themselves.

There was ever-confident Sue swinging her leg over the top of the bike, kick starting it on the first try.  I had to smile.  She was still everything I was not.  I wouldn’t be caught dead on a dirt bike.  Off she went, at a reckless speed straight down the driveway.  She raced to the end of the driveway.  Why isn’t she turning?  I thought.  Instead she went straight into the neighbor’s shed.  I saw the helmet fly off, twenty feet from the shed.

Steve started jumping around and waving his arms and screaming for help.  My dad ran outside to see what he could do.  Part of me wanted to go and help and part of me wanted to run and hide.  The way the helmet flew off, I was afraid she had been decapitated.

“Mom, call 9-1-1!” I shouted.  Praying under my breath, I asked God to give me courage to deal with whatever the next few minutes would hold.  Running across the lawn, I came across a slightly calmer Steve bending over his wife’s body as my father stuck his finger in her mouth to clear it from gobs of blood.  Blood was coming out of her ears and Sue was unconscious.  I was just glad her head was attached.  The ambulance came, and T. drove behind it to the emergency room.  Steve told me to stay behind and take care of Baby S.  I wondered if it would be the last time I’d ever see Sue alive again…

For the next installment read this.

Where Do We Go From Here? An Announcement.

Last week, I was excited to see that one of my articles had been chosen for publication on website featuring fun things to do in Chicago.  The site is called What Are We Doing?  It features unusual daytrips and tours.  If you live in the Chicago area, or if you’re planning on visiting you should definitely check out their services.  In the meantime, if you’d like to see my article check it out here.  It’s the first time I’ve been published on this type of website, so I’m very excited!  Thanks for all of your encouragement.

Playing Pool, Pee Wee Herman and Tequila – Pt. 2 New Glarus Road

This is the second installment of a group of memoirs about my travelings through a small town in New Glarus, Wisconsin. To read the first installment, go here.

The bright July sun baked the inhabitants of southwestern Wisconsin that year.  My family once again stopped by New Glarus on the way home from our camping property.  We were disappointed to find that the New Glarus Bakery no longer operated their upstairs cafe, only the storefront bakery was open.  It was my first lesson in the fact that each moment must be enjoyed to the fullest because it is a rare occasion when its luxury can be repeated.  My best friend since kindergarten was with my family this time.  She, being two years older than I, had already past the awkward first stages of womanhood, and was flashing her perfectly shaped legs in short, shorts, on the street side of the sidewalk.  I, on the other hand, still had braids in my hair.

As a weekend destination, many of the restaurants for tourists were not open during the day on weekdays.  Our options were limited.  So, mother led the way to a little bar next to the bakery.  As we walked in,  we felt the eyes of many small town regulars follow every move we made.  Even though the quaint town had become a place tourists stopped by, it was evident that we had tread upon sacred ground reserved for locals only.

The room was a cave compared to the light of the summer day.  The odor of cigarettes and beer were very unfamiliar to me.  My family of faith included generations of ministers, and an atmosphere like this was completely foreign to me.  Shortly after choosing our table, it seemed that the staring eyes were finally able to tear themselves away from the cityfolk who had invaded their territory.

Trying to feel more at ease, my mother’s eyes roamed the room.  “Look girls,” she coaxed, “A jukebox!  I haven’t seen one of those in years.”  And handing each of us a quarter, we edged our way toward the wall with the currently quiet contraption.  Due to my sheltered childhood, I struggled to find a familiar tune.

“There!”  I said to my friend, “Eye of the Tiger!  Isn’t that from the new Rocky movie?”

I can not tell you the stir our choice started.  If it wasn’t obvious before that we didn’t belong there, it was completely obvious now.  But undaunted, we were determined to have a good time.  Noticing a pool table in the middle of the room, we asked my parents if we could try playing.  Notice the word TRY.  I had never played pool before in my life.

My friend, thoroughly enjoying every cowboy-want-to-be eye on her, began stretching across the table every which way.  Next, it was my turn.  BAM!  My ball went across the table onto the floor.  There was a long collective draw-in breath.  I looked up, afraid to make eye contact with anyone, but looking for some reassurance.  Finally, one man in overalls and a baseball cap with the name of a manure company embroidered on it, smiled… then chuckled, and pretty soon he was slapping his knee and laughing.  Slowly, like the “Hallelujah Chorus” one man joined in, and then another, and another…until I was laughing too.

Suddenly, we were no longer on foreign soil.  We had become a part of the town of New Glarus.  We belonged.  Looking back on it, the scene reminds me of the movie “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure” when he has offended the inhabitants of a biker’s club and they threaten to kill him.  Giving him one final request, he plays a song on the jukebox and dances for them winning everyone over….except we didn’t get a free motorcycle.

Has an event ever seemed to break the spell of an unfamiliar and unfriendly place?  Tell us about it.

Go here for next story…

All Roads Lead to New Glarus Pt. 1- A Travel/Memoir Series

In honor of my mothers birthday i thought I’d tell a family story.
Happy Birthday mama !

My father once said, “All roads lead to New Glarus.” Throughout the years a small town in Southwestern Wisconsin seems to have repeated itself in significance. Our tapestry has been woven traveling through, in and around this lovely weekend getaway spot. The rolling hills and deeply cut valleys reminded the early Swiss settlers of their homeland.

I’ll never forget the first time I found myself in New Glarus, Wisconsin. It was a late August afternoon, and the air was starting to smell like newly sharpened pencils. Locusts played their organ-grinding songs, and all that grows grew golden. Thoughts of going back to school lurked in the back of my mind, causing me to capture each moment and savor it like a piece of creamy, milk chocolate melting slowly over my tongue. Every hour was precious freedom.

My family strolled down the main street of a town proclaiming to be “America’s Swiss Village.” With almost-black rough wood beams criss-crossing over white stucco, the buildings looked like they could have been in Glarus, Switzerland. Under the windows, geraniums spilled out of flower boxes. Passing a storefront with sausages hanging in the window, my nose crinkled trying to distinguish the fragrance of spice and uncooked red meat, an odor foreign to my young nose. Church bells broke into exultation, signaling that it was half past the hour.

New Glarus Photos
This photo of New Glarus is courtesy of TripAdvisor

As my father opened the door to the New Glarus Baking Company, the unfamiliar tunes of an accordion playing bouncy polka music blasted into the street. A shaft of light streamed down the staircase and beckoned us to follow it’s guidance to the pinnacle and into the tea room.

I sat on the smooth, wooden chair, my feet almost touching the ground. the side of the table at which I sat was against the wall, facing the window. My parents sat across from me. They were surrounded by the bright sunshine, which created halos around their forms like the paintings on Eastern Orthodox icons. The tables were adorned with white linen cloths and napkins and in the center of each one was a bud vase with a silk red carnation reaching towards the ceiling. The waitress came to take our order wearing a customary Swiss peasant dress. She looked like a member of the Van Trap Family.

New Glarus Images
This photo of New Glarus is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Soon after ordering, my father was drinking a cup of coffee. Mother was checking a glass for water spots. I, on the other hand, was about to dive into a biscuit with a creamy chicken gravy, topped with a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream. My mouth watered. The sound of silver on china now accompanied the accordion as the velvety flavors exploded in my mouth.

Looking down on the last bite, I realized that just as I was about to enjoy the last of this delectable treat, I was also enjoying the last moment of my family vacation. Surprisingly, new notebooks, pens and shoes seemed like a welcome adventure after spending lazy days in the summer heat. I leaned back in my chair satisfied with my meal and with my fifth grade summer vacation.

To read the next installment of this story click here.

Linking with Imperfect Prose

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