The Free Ride Day

When you get an offer to drive a brand new car that is a hybrid for a day, you just can’t pass it up. So with one click of the mouse and one phone call we had a brand new hybrid Toyota Avalon for a day.

Before we headed out to St. Louis, we stopped to get a hair cut. We are in no hurry. Our day stretched before us with no one to meet and no place to beat any specified time. We stopped back by the house to pick up an auxiliary cord from my car so we can use my phone to listen to Pandora on the 3.5 hour drive to St. Louis.

I suggested that we stop in St. James (2 hours away) to have lunch at a restaurant we both like. This should put us there shortly after 11 o’clock. (I was already starving.) The bonus was, we had a gift card to this restaurant.

We were on the road less than twenty minutes when neon pink signs appeared along the sides of the highway. Incident ahead. Great! Traffic came to a stop. We rolled on. We stopped. We moved slightly and so on until we came to the incident. A tractor-trailer had tipped over and they were unloading it into another trailer. I felt sorry for that driver, but now we were moving again. It was about a 20-30 minute delay. (My stomach grumbled at the delay, so I fed it a peppermint lifesaver.)

It was past noon when we get to the restaurant for lunch. I already knew what I wanted because I read the menu on my phone. (My stomach demanded “Feed me!” The waitress offered bread, I eagerly accepted.) Reuben sandwich with homemade chips for me. Blackened chicken sandwich with salad for my husband. My Reuben was a disappointment, the bread was toasted not grilled, however the corn beef was tasty and tender. Loved the fresh chips! My husband had no complaints. The gift card totally covered the bill and we were on our way again.

The sun was shining in on me and my seat warmer was on high, so I savored that warmth spreading through my body. I wanted this trip so I would have time to finish reading The False Prince. When I had started it on Sunday, I thought I might abandon the book. However, Jennifer left a comment on my post that made me determined to continue on.

We arrived in St. Louis and headed straight for the REI store. We each wandered around in the sections that interested us. I ended up with a bike skort with capri leggings. My husband found a pair pants where you can zip off the bottom half and have shorts. These pants will work great for traveling when you have to have knees covered but it is hot and you don’t want to wear long pants all day.

Our goal for the day was achieved. We could not think of another thing we wanted to do, so we headed for home. It was a nice diversion. We had been home too many days, trapped by weather. We each got something at the REI store. I finished my book. My husband loved driving the car. (No, we are not getting one.) I did not have to cook lunch or dinner for a day. We were home by 7:30 so I could read slices and make comments. All things considered, it was a good day.

On Sunday I told my son about our adventure. His response was a pause of dead air on the phone, followed by, “That sounds like something retired people would do. Kinda boring.”

I laughed and told him it doesn’t take much to entertain us.


What is this you might ask? It’s nasty looking. This is what is inside the hole that I discovered on my walking route. As I approached, a few of these bubbles seemed to gurgle and pop. ┬áI found a stick and put it down the hole to see how deep it was. The hole was about 2.5 feet deep. So far, I have not spotted any wildlife creeping out of the depths. I still don’t know what it is, but I have spotted another opening like on another farm road. It has been filled in with dirt. So far, this is still one mystery unsolved.

The cardinals had hatched and left the bush by the time we got back from California. I was hoping to see baby cardinals, but I guess they do a lot of growing in three weeks. It was an empty nest that greeted us. So the bushes were cut down alongside the house. I hope mama cardinal doesn’t plan on using that nest again.

The peaches continue to grow. I’ve plucked some from the tree to lighten the load on fragile branches. I don’t know if I’ve taken enough off. I don’t want to ┬áremove too many, but yet I don’t want to have branches break. Then I went on vacation and the peaches ripened before I got home. The neighbors report that they were delicious. One neighbor did freeze a couple bags of peaches and a jar of freezer jam. So I will get to taste my fruit this winter. I guess I will have to hang around next year.

The pansies have been pulled out until fall. They dug in their roots and cried loudly, but my husband ignored their pleas for mercy. Vincas have taken up the position of watching the happenings in the neighborhood. They were complaining loudly when the sprinkler system was not working properly. The issue has been resolved and they stand proud under the shade of the maple tree.

That’s the update on a few of the “hot topics” in my world.