Friday, January 14, 2011

Travels: Part III - They Bag the Milk

They really do.  If you go to the grocery store and buy a gallon of milk, when you check out, they put it in a bag.  It's one of many things that are different 'round these parts.

Also, there aren't a lot of hills or mountains.  I mean, sometimes the road goes up and down a bit, but it's not like you every look out the window and say "hey, look at those hills." I grew up in Eugene, which is partly framed by the Coburg Hills, which turn purple and misty sometimes in the early morning hours.  I got really excited when we were driving to Little Rocks a few weeks ago, because for the first time in a long time, I looked out the window and saw a hill, a really ill.  It rose out of the ground, beautiful and green.  I turned to Danny (who was driving) to point it out.  We admired it for a moment...then sniffed.

"Yeah..." Danny said.  "That's an old landfill that's been covered over."


It was pretty, though.  For a landfill.

My favorite BBQ place around here, so far, is Corky's on Poplar.  We stepped inside and were immediately gestured forward as if we were not only expected, but late.  We were seated immediately.  Later we realized how lucky we'd been - the entryway was full of people waiting for a table.  The food was delicious, the fries were the best I've had in Memphis, the staff was friendly and attentive, and everyone wandered around humming along with the strains for Elvis and his contemporaries that played over the sound system.

Also, the food was plated very well.  You come to appreciate this after a while.  And the apple BBQ sauce? Amazing.

The BBQ was good.  We tried going out for Mexican, which turned out to be a mistake.  There just aren't enough Mexicans in the area for good Mexican food.  There were peas in the Spanish rice.  Oh, and they managed to put bacon on the menu.  Authentic Mexican, it wasn't.  Ironically, the place was packed; online, it's reviewed as the best Mexican place in town.

It's been very cold lately, but we're looking forward for a touch of warmth.  We walked through the Memphis Zoo before Christmas.  Next up? Walking through Rhodes college.  It's really beautiful, architecturally.  Also, my grandmother had lunch at the Peabody Hotel in 1947 and watched the ducks walk around the lobby.  The ducks "march" in at 11am daily - I'm thinking duck-watching and lunch, one of these days.

We're still looking for a church.  We've tried a couple, but finding a West-Coast style of worship and teaching in the middle of the Bible Belt is a little tricky.  The funny thing is that Danny's co-workers ask, often, if we've found a church yet.

I know a lot of my readers don't hail from the Pacific Northwest, so let me fill you in - this would never, ever happen back home.  The area is so un-churched and largely anti-Christian that you never approach the subject with a stranger without making observations first (stray Bible verse, book from a Christian publisher, a promise to pray about something, t-shirt/bumper-sticker with religious overtones, etc.), then moving on to oblique questions on the subject.

The funny thing is, once two believers realize they're both believers, a certain amount of spiritual chest-beating can ensue.  Years of Sunday School taught, Bible-Study leadership, Christian College attendance...all of this is to prove that you're not an entry-level believer.

Worry not, evangelism is alive and well in the Northwest.  There are lots of people to spread the gospel to.  The method's just different, that's all.

What really cracks me up out here is that there is, I kid you not, a Baptist Rehabilitation Center.

I love it.  I love it much.

On a completely different subject, the Golden Globes are Sunday!  Barring a terrible time-zone related mix-up (which, surprisingly, happened last year), I'll be micro-blogging through the live broadcast here.  Can't wait! In the meantime, here are some red-carpet tips in case you feel like getting into the spirit of Award Season.  I might keep some in mind for this year's ACFW Banquet!


  1. Landfill? I wonder how many features nicknamed "Mt. Trashmore" are spread across Middle America?

    Ducks and lunch? You must be part Chinese. Of course if The Peabody had true foodie cred you'd be allowed to pick your lunch from the parade.

    Thanks for another great post!

  2. We'll have to stick to watching them...apparently the restaurant is one of the only French restaurants in the world to not serve duck...

  3. Wow...I didn't know it was such a strange thing that we bagged our gallons of milk down here. When I first read your blog post title, I thought you were referring to milk that was packaged in a bag...that really would be strange!

    Glad to know you made it to Corky's...there's a reason why they've won so many awards! It's my favorite BBQ in the city.

    The "Baptists" aren't the only ones with rehabilitation centers for health care, you know. The "Methodists" have one, too.

  4. So many comments popped in my head as I read this post.

    1) We don't bag milk here either.
    2) We call our landfills mountains in these here parts.
    3) Apple BBQ sounds yummy.
    4) I grew up in the Bible Belt, and even I'm surprised at your husband's co-worker's forthrightness. Very interesting.
    5) And thanks for the FYI on the Golden Globes! Gotta set my DVR for the red carpet show.

  5. Hillary....laughing. You are too cute! Know the Lord will lead you to just the right church for you. Oh, that Bar-B-Que sounds wonderful!

  6. Christy - In Oregon, when you buy a gallon of milk, orange juice, jug of bleach, whatever - it's always held out, never bagged.

    Sarah -

    1. #2 - very funny
    2. #4 - It's happened at least four times. Isnt' that funny?

    Karen - Thanks! We're hopeful, but mindful that we might not find it here, and that's okay :-)

  7. Hillary - that's funny and surprising about the milk, that is... Here, it's kind of like...why bag it...It has a handle. You can carry it yourself :) :) :) I hope you find a church that really teaches through the Bible!! Enjoy your time there!!! Love and hugs from Oregon, Heather :)

  8. I didn't need to go to Baptist Rehab! I got cured of Baptism by the power of Jesus!

    The first time I went to North Carolina, I saw a billboard advertising a Purpose Driven Life study at a local church. Also, styrofoam and throwing away pop cans! Barbarians!

  9. Hi Hillary! :)

    They bag the milk here, too (and it is actually packaged in bags in some parts of the world). Actually, they bag everything here...seperately. Have you ever gone through the 20-items-or-less line and left the store with 10 bags? I have.

    And if you give them your own reusable bag, they don't know what to do with it. They spend 2 minutes trying to figure out what they can put it in, place 2 or 3 small items, and then move on to their plastic!! And if you tell them not to put the milk in a bag, they get very, very confused. It's another world, I tell you, another world.

    When can I visit you/you visit me and J?


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