The Greenway

evie benchIt’s been four years since we lost Tim’s mom, who we now refer to as Grandma Debbie, though she never got to hear herself called that. She died when I was just a few months pregnant with Evie. Debbie knew, and was so thrilled at the prospect of being a grandma. Now she has three beautiful granddaughters.

girls 2While visiting Jeff City last month, we decided to meet for a few minutes at the bench and tree dedicated to Debbie in one of her favorite places. Without realizing it, we planned our visit for May 28 – exactly four years to the day since she died. It ended up being a lovely time – Evie chased Gramps and Uncle Kevin and looked at bugs, Grandma Jeanne got to hold the babies, and we took some family pictures.

family bench 2roly poly 2jenn and faithevie clovertree 3 cropcollage 1We love and miss you so much, Debbie. I’m convinced it’s you making Alice smile sometimes when she’s staring at nothing in particular.

debbie's bench 8

CoMo Bucket List


It just hit me today…hard…that I only have a couple of weeks left to enjoy CoMo as a resident. I have moved many times over the last 10 years, but always within Missouri (not counting Japan, of course, but this has been more like a long holiday). I always kept my mom’s house as my permanent address, knowing that wherever I was living was just temporary until I found the next thing. Now, for the first time, Columbia won’t really be “home” anymore.

And that is kind of freaking me out. And maybe making me tear up *just* a wee bit as I write this.

So! Time to make a list. A list of my favorite things about my hometown, places that I want to make sure I hit one last time before we head west. Of course I’ll be back to Columbia, probably as often as I can, but it will be…different. So I want to enjoy these last few weeks to the fullest.

Some of my favorite restaurants and watering holes I will be hitting include:

~The Heidelberg. Duh, probably my favorite place ever. I think I have more memories here than anywhere else. After our wedding reception, Tim and I walked into the Berg and everyone started clapping – that’s my bar.

~Flat Branch. Jeez, I will miss this place. A cold beer and some green chili chicken fingers on the FB patio is what I imagine heaven might be like.

~Sub Shop. Speaking of heaven, the veggie sub…oh, the veggie sub.

~Teller’s. Tim and I had one of our early dates here. We want to have a glass of wine at the bar before we leave.

~Osaka. I know this sounds crazy, but I have now had sushi in Japan and I can say that Osaka is still my favorite.

~Addison’s. Did I ever tell you about the time Tim and I drank all the Guinness at Addison’s? No? Hmm.

Other activities to enjoy before we leave:

~A hike in Rock Bridge State Park. Tim has never been! Can you believe that?

~Ice cream at Sparky’s. Tim has never been here either. Sigh.

~Shelter Gardens. I’ve grown incredibly fond of this place since last summer. I often pop in to take a walk and some pictures, and I love it.

~A movie at Ragtag. It’d be nice to catch one more flick at this little place.

~Columbia College. We have to go see the office where we met and each decided the other was pretty cool.

CoMo folks – what am I missing?

True/False

My last weekend in Columbia was filled with my first True/False film festival and all kinds of awesome.

Megan and I started on Thursday evening with the March March parade downtown. While it did trigger my irrational fear of people in masks, it was pretty cool to see everyone just parading down Ninth Street in whatever they wanted. And there were fire spinners.

Then we queued for our first film at the Blue Note, Zielinski. It actually ended up being one of my least favorites of the weekend, simply because most of the other ones we saw were so fantastic. Zielinski himself made an appearance after the film and showed off his crazypants. Continue reading

Puppies!

Since I’ve been home, a lot of my time has been spent taking pictures of my lovelies, Trevor, Opal, and Pippin. I don’t care that they have a combined age of about 37 – I still call them puppies.

We got Opal and Trevor as puppies from Second Chance. When we brought them home, they could fit in the palm of your hand and couldn’t do much but stumble around, pee, and then sleep where they fell. I named Opal and my brother named Trevor.

Pippin joined the family a few years later. I found him after he had been lost or abandoned outside of my friend’s apartment building. After seeing him living in the backyard for a day, I finally lured him to me by feeding him Cheez-its. He was thisclose to being named Cheez-it. We kept him for a few days, and when we couldn’t find anywhere for him to go except the pound, we (read: Mom) decided we could keep him.

Pippin

I luuurve them all.

I Miss Springfield.

Congratulations, universe. You win.

Nothing like feeling isolated and homesick to make you miss a place you never thought you would. Springfield had its moments:

*Schlotzky’s. Best sandwich and jalapeno chips ever. Plus a chance to win a free cookie by answering the daily trivia question (put that random knowledge to use and win some cookies!). We seriously need to bring this place back to Columbia.

*Cheezies. Oh lord, Cheezies. A large pizza and a large order of Cheezie Sticks for less than $10. Especially good on Tuesday nights when watching LOST. Those were the days.

*Kai. Five words: Sesame, Mozzarella, and Asparagus Tempura.

*Chicago Cheesesteak Company. This little hole in the wall makes the best cheese steak I’ve ever had. The restaurant itself seats about four.

*Finnegan’s/Mud Lounge. These two go hand in hand because if I wasn’t at one, I was usually at the other. So many fishbowls – so many stories.

*Dickerson Park Zoo. When I first heard Springfield had a zoo, I scoffed. Then, I ended up going maybe 20 times in my two years there. Aside from the elephant exhibit, which I think is too small, this is an amazing zoo. You can feed crackers to the giraffes, much to the delight of children and clinical psychology students. I’ve had staring contests with kangaroos, seen a lioness jump sideways onto a fence to get a squirrel, and had otter babies run up to the glass to see me. I will seriously miss this place.

*Yoga. My platonic life partner Stephanie made me join a gym by kidnapping me one day and making me go. We started taking yoga classes every Wednesday almost a year ago. Our instructor is awesome, and she started my love affair with yoga. I haven’t done any in weeks, and I’m starting to feel like a lump.

*This little girl:

Professor Eleanor Snickelfritz

Yes, I am a person who posts pictures of my friend’s cat. Deal.

I will be in Springfield off and on for the next six months or so. Hopefully I can fully enjoy all of these things in that time before I leave it (probably) forever.