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!