...returned to Prairie Metropolis late last night with what passed, at the time, for a "hoodling kind of roar." Northwest Airlines was doing its best, with the hoodling and roaring, at least.
The Rambler -- and this really is, "Where I came in, a year ago" -- has been away from home to the annual meeting of the North American Academy of Ecumenists (woot woot -- try explaining THAT ONE to US Customs, upon whom be peace). This year, not in Adjacent Prairie Metropolis, but in St. Louis. (= "LeWIS" I find, Judy Garland to the contrary notwithstanding, also W. C. Handy, and, most fondly remembered, Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney, she of the nephew, on an old LP of travel songs)
Are you still with me? Good.
It was a great weekend -- sumptuous accommodations, great presenters, good chats, lovely socializing, wonderful weather.
And a confessional moment; yesterday I cut church, not out of any distaste for United Methodism, heaven forfend, but just because it seemed like such a sin-against-locale NOT to go down to Laclede's Landing and look at the Big Muddy One. Such a treat, for the Rambler, to see a waterway that DOESN'T flow eventually into the Arctic Ocean!
So thanks to the Metrolink, I was able to do that; and also, of course, to take in THE ARCH. Sweet mother of us all. I remember when it was built (creak of rocking chair is heard in the background), but nothing photographic was ever adequate preparation for how big it is.
And the National Park Service, whom we love, were having Park Palooza with lots of Informative Exhibits, yet!
And a whole lot of the citizenry, wearing red T-shirts, got on the Metrolink, and got off, hollering, at Anheuser-Busch Stadium. From which the Trained Mind here infers that something of a baseball-ious nature was toward...
All in all it was a delightful time, but I am kicking myself that I didn't book off one of my remaining, dangling, weeks of holiday time, rent a car, and head south and west into Missouri to see what else there is to see including Places of Ancestral Origin. I was lamenting to this effect to the Nice Young Person from the Parks Service...and he LOOKED at me, and said, "But you're comin' back...."
Sigh. At the risk of being stripped of my maple-leaf patterned suspenders, I have to say... I have a huge great fondness for the Excited States of America.
Now we were warned, in conference, about NAIVE ROMANTICISM in our initial reactions to each other's ecclesial polity and practise. No doubt the same warning applies to nations.
And the Rambler says, "What of it?"
And answer comes there none.
I have to do a little work here, IRL, and then go collect the poor old Taffeta cat for her final visit to the vet. This is a sadness, but Daughter Unit will come with me.