My Happy Place


*My Happy Place, visited often and again early this morning.  A post worth repeating filled with life lessons….

There is a familiar spot here in great St. Louis, where people flop inside or outside, leaving their troubles behind for another time.  Actually, this hang-out is located in a toy town called Kirkwood, about ten miles from the chocolate color of my dusty garage door.

When summer begins to wane the weather is perfect, like this time of year.  Today, barely a soul of young or old can be found inside the multiple front doors of the welcoming café.  Instead, eagle eyes scan the outdoor crowd, looking for any sign of movement in case an imaginary “Vacancy” sign pops up.  Deep breaths are taken.  Fresh air is inhaled while lungs expand.  Ahhh, relaxation begins!

It is here that a new discovery is made each and every time I visit.  Who would think that a simple, nondescript patio made of concrete cement would have such an impact on my life?  And, yet it does.  This is my Happy Place.  A corner of wired tables in black with matching chairs on top of grey.  Wait…take a seat, sit down to rest your feet.  Shhh, watch and listen.  This is a haven full of people who are living in the moment.

Do you see what I see?  There are mothers pushing strollers, babes in arms, Daddies giving horsy-rides and coffee cups made of china white.  Children riding scooters, chocolate milk clutched in little hands, bikers, joggers, bunnies in wagons and toasted bagels laden with cream cheese.  Kisses on cheeks, grandparents carrying toddlers, and dogs-of-all-kinds. Pacifiers in pink or blue, books being read and luxury leashes made of leather.  Working laptops, baked banana bread so good, couples on first dates, I-phones, singles and fountains splish-splashing.  Love is in the air, walkers, bottles filled with water, smiles, secrets and even bellies-SO BIG!

My husband clasps my hand to find me the best seat.  He pulls out my chair before inquiring what I’d like to sip and eat.  “A vanilla cappuccino,” he asks, expecting a “Y.E.S.” Next, his words so sweet, “A cinnamon roll warmed for you?”  He is the very best man and I am the luckiest of women.  Soon he comes back with my treats.

While nibbling, I stop to “people watch,” snap a few pictures, and meet new friends.  The sun feels warm to my skin, pinking my cheeks.  Next to me, I meet the cutest Labradoodle who excitedly poses for me.  And then, a “Hallmark” moment begins.

A few feet away, the sweetest girl of young reaches up and over on tippy-toes to kiss her loved one so dear.  She has long and lovely dark hair, wears shorts and seems to surprise the woman who is older than she.  My heart skips a beat.

Seconds go by.  The freshly kissed woman passes our table.  My husband smiles, pointing to our phone.  “Look,” he says, stopping her.  A gentle grin, big and wide slides over pretty, white teeth.  She is touched by what she sees, going on to tell us a bit about her lovely grand-daughter.

Looking across at her table, she notices more seats taken.  Chairs pulled out.  Tennis shoes underneath.  This time by her husband together with a darling, young grand-son wearing metal and leather braces strapped to thin legs.  Briefly, we talk about Chronic Conditions.  “He was born with club feet,” she says, speaking of her other darling one.  “He’s already had several surgeries,” she adds, “with more to come.”  She speaks matter-of-factly, with no hint of ‘woe-is-me‘ in her voice when she glances over at her loved ones.

There is no doubt, no question in my mind that this is where I am supposed to be.   Right now, right here at this moment in time.  A new Life Lesson for me today.  How special it is to have and hold this “Hallmark” tip-toed kiss upon a grandmother’s lips!  From an innocent grand-daughter to her loving grandmother.  A story of life trials chock full of smiles on this very morning.  Lucky for me.

No matter how brief, this will forever be “My Happy Place.”

24 thoughts on “My Happy Place

    • My pleasure. Dan! This is such a special place for me. Every time I go back it is filled with new friends and families. Bigger dogs and smaller babes teaching lessons of life to those who choose to see.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Enjoyed that outing to your favorite spot Kim, your story certainly depicted, as your pictures, a veritable hive of activities, beautiful scenario and complimented by a little girls kiss. Can see why you enjoy that favorite place.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, D. G. I visit this place frequently and the sights and sounds are never the same. New ‘lessons’ to soak into the skin each and every time through love in the air. Bless you for reading.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I was talking to my daughter about people watching when we were in the city the other day, particularly as she was inclined to stick her nose in her ipad. She told me I was “spying”. I did do a little bit of spying because from the top of the Sydney Tower Eye, I could see the funeral of a famous Australian horse trainer Bart Cummings over at St Mary’s Cathedral. He is such a household name in Australia and so many of his horses won the Melbourne Cup so they were common choices for annual punters to pick their horse. Here’s a link to our day: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/360-degrees-around-sydney/
    Speaking of chronic conditions, my daughter has had severe vocal nodules and has been having voice therapy and I had severe bronchitis when we found out that she’s successfully been given an audition for the the Sydney production of the Sound of Music. Here’s that story: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2015/09/02/the-house-is-alive-with-the-sound-of-music/
    xx Rowena

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    • OMG! First of all, your daughter is a little beauty who looks exactly like Marta. I really liked your observation about teaching her to “hear” the music in order to sing. I was never able to learn to read music-don’t know why, just could’t do it. Yet, my ears learned it exactly as written, allowing me to play leads in musical theatre with perfect pitch. I was simply lucky. Your daughter, “Little Miss” is way ahead of the game, thanks to you, Ro! Keep me posted on the outcome. I am so excited for her. 🙂 🙂

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      • She didn’t get a call back but it was a great day. Kim, I’d say you probably had perfect pitch. MY grandmother had it and I’m pretty sure I have it. Miss seems to sing quite in tune but she has quite a soft, sweet voice. I have my violin lessons next to the singing teacher and I’ve heard a few very strong voices in this time but out of tune and it’s really reinforced the need to sing in tune.
        Another thing I'[ve found quite intriguing with musicians is that a lot of them are actually quite shy and introverted and not your classic performer personality. This initially surprised me but I now think they have the sensitivity to develop a real musicality and empathy with the music. It could also be a way of expressing a part of themselves which more extroverted people share through conversation. Any thoughts?
        I did a bit of acting and singing when I was young and had a solo in a musical at school. I loved it but study took over and then socializing. Singing isn’t always possible with my lung problems but the violin is the instrument closest to the human voice and it fills the gap for me. Take care xx Ro

        Liked by 1 person

      • So sorry “Miss” did not get a call back, but what a thrill it must have been to walk in Marta’s temporary shoes!! A great learning lesson for the future too. Her day will come!
        Interesting to read your notes on musicality. I really know nothing, only what I can ‘hear.’ I so wanted to read music and learn how to play piano. You are so lucky Ro, with your talent on the violin. My brain was never wired reading notes on a page.
        I never knew what ‘perfect pitch’ was until the musical director for Camelot told me I had it-“What?” I was simply thankful I could ‘hear’ the music and memorize it. Thank God!
        I do agree with you that many singers are shy like various performers in the arts. Playing a role is much easier than living real life sometimes! Take care of yourself, Rowena, breathe free and easy and kiss sweet little Miss. XXOO

        Liked by 1 person

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