It is another beautiful spring-like February day here in Saint Louis. Anne and I were taking our morning constitutional earlier, when we happened upon some kids playing in their front yard. Three little boys were excitedly shooting each other with Nerf weapons, while the little sister of one of the boys was cycling in-and-out of the front door. It soon became apparent that she had tattled on her older brother. On her first trip inside the house, she must have reported that “Henry” had used a bad word, because when she returned outside again, she announced, “Mom wants you to come inside.” Henry ignored her. Little sis ducked back inside to report this and this time the mother appeared, “Henry, go to your room. We don’t use bad words.” “I didn’t do it”, he said. “You heard me, go to your room.” “Aw, mom”
This little tableau played itself out in the time it took us to walk into and out of earshot of it. Watching it reminded Anne of a tattling story from her childhood that involved her little sister, Jane and her middle sister Jay, nee Joyce. The family was all eating dinner together at the table, when Jane announced that Jay had kicked her under the table, “Ow! Joyce kicked me.” She hadn’t, Jane had made up the story just to get her older sister in trouble. This was a major innovation on Jane’s part. Anne and her sisters are all much older, wiser and more congenial now, so this foolery couldn’t happen nowadays. In fact, Jane has a birthday this week. Let me be the first to wish her a happy birthday! This year her birthday falls on Friday the 13th. I’ve often wondered whether having such a birthday is a blessing or a curse. Dave also has a birthday on the 13th, but his is in October, which is in the middle of the run-up to Halloween. He might have to someday share his birthday someday with the movie opening of Friday the 13th XXXVII. I hope that Jane is not offended by any of this, but if she is she can always blame it on Anne, “Ow! Anne kicked me.”
We had brunch at White Box, a relatively new restaurant in Clayton’s Carondelet Plaza. It opened where Stratton’s used to be. Both restaurants are similar, but the White Box has better slightly décor, better food and higher prices. It also has an automated orange juice maker. You just dump a basket of oranges in at the top and then run the machine. It cuts up the oranges, squeezes them and then dispenses orange juice from a tap. The manager demonstrated the machine for us and even gave us free samples. Still, I kind of miss Stratton’s. We walked home again and then putzed for a while. Eventually, we got enough get-up-and-go together to get our bikes out again and then launch towards the park. With apologies to Ogden Nash, “Cross traffic does not stop. Cheerful traffic does and allows bicyclists to ride on.” Forest Park was at least as crowded today, as it was yesterday, but we toughed it out and got our miles in.