Thursday, July 23, 2015

What Have You Been Missing? Thursday's Reflection

Don't ask me where we got the idea, but yesterday, my husband and I and two good buddies decided we needed a Donut Day. Research was done. Four (yes, four) stops were selected and an itinerary was prepared. A scoring system with four categories (taste, texture, creativity/presentation, and ambience) was designed, and off we went. 

Fun! Pure sugary fun! 

Here's what we discovered: Simple is best. We liked the ambience of two "hip" bakeries, which, of course, were the most expensive, and it was fun to be in the know about where to go in Minneapolis and St Paul. But when it comes to taste and texture, give us the non fussy, back to the basics of the donut world. Perfection is a glazed donut at Mel-O-Glaze and cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar cake donuts at The Baker's Wife. Yum!

Now here's the surprise. We have been driving by Mel-O-Glaze for years and have never stopped. We had no idea. This neighborhood bakery has been in business for decades, located in our loop of life, and we have never checked it out. To think of what we have been missing all these years! 

What have you been missing that is practically in your back yard?

We have a number of friends who travel widely and passionately, and we love hearing about their adventures. We have done our share of big trips, which we have loved, but we tend to travel just as passionately, but more narrowly. Trips that don't require a passport or weeks of making arrangements for someone to water the yard and take in the mail, or long plane trips leaving us with jet lag. Sure, there are distant places I would love to visit or revisit, but wow, I had never been to Mel-O-Glaze before, and it is only minutes away.  

Perhaps it is because we have lived in a number of places in our adult life and my childhood years included several moves, but Bruce and I have always been tourists in our own back yard. We love nothing better than roaming, sometimes with a specific destination, but sometimes just heading out with the platte book at hand and seeing what we see. Museums and interesting little shops, and scenic overlooks, and cornfields, and small town cafes and views into how people live and work. Now that we have moved back to St Paul, we are enjoying getting to know it all over again, including places we missed the first time around. 

What have you been missing that is practically in your back yard?

Yesterday provided several lessons. First, I learned three donuts in the course of a morning is more than enough, but beyond that, is the lesson of simple fun. What could be better than being with loved ones, laughing and telling stories and yes, deepening our friendship over coffee (or in my case, Diet coke) and donuts? 

This summer has been full of those kinds of adventures, including most recently, going with a friend to the Paine Museum in Oshkosh, WI to see the exhibit of costumes from Downton Abbey and meeting other friends in Winona, MN to see the production of Much Ado About Nothing at The Great River Shakespeare Festival. We have had a few days in Door County and I spent a couple days in the Iowa City area, meeting friends from Madison. All wonderful times. 

Even closer to home we have gone to band concerts in the park and art fairs and saw a heart-filled production of The Music Man at The Guthrie. We go for drives and stop for ice cream cones and explore neighborhoods we have not been in before. And there is so much more to do. Right here in our back yard.  

Yesterday was a reminder that there is always more to explore wherever we find ourselves. Wake-up and take joy in life right here, right now. 

Even as we were finishing our last donut, we were planning our next adventure--soda fountains. We know of two close by and one we have never been to, which makes no sense, because once again it is in our loop of life! And what about wine bars for our sophisticated natures, but probably only one of those at a time. There is so much to explore. Stay tuned!

What have you been missing that is practically in your back yard?

An Invitation
What have you passed by or read or heard about or wondered about, but have not stopped to check it out? Do it. Be a tourist in your backyard. What did you discover? I would love to know. 

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