Snow Swan

Snow Swan

Unlike most Saint Louis snowfalls, this one persists. After dropping Anne off at school, I headed over to the gardens to take advantage of their miles of cleared paths and got my steps. Most of the holiday decorations from the Garden Glow are still up. What with most of the staff still diverted to snow removal. The two Turtle-doves are gone, but as you can see, at least one of the seven swans is still a-swimming and likely will remain so, until the next thaw. I did notice a herd of cherry pickers out today, unstringing Xmas lights from the trees.

Exercising at the gardens is really quite pleasant. It is not at all crowded. I think that the staff outnumbers the visitors. If I get cold, I can always duck into one of the many open buildings. My favorite is the Climatron. This iconic geodesic domed greenhouse boasts more than half an acre of tropical diversion from the dreary January weather. I always walk into this building as through a fog, as the warm moist air condenses on my still cold glasses. 

Japanese Garden in Snow

Japanese Garden in Snow

Me: Here she is, Miss Teacher of America!
Anne: Miss Substitute Teacher.
Me: First alternate?

I got up early this morning. Beating even Anne’s all to early iPhone chimes. After dropping her off at school, I headed over to the gardens. I correctly guessed that its walks would be cleared of snow. Everywhere else was still covered. While my camera was still warm, I first visited the Climatron. It didn’t fog at all in the moist tropical air. Afterwards, I swung through the Japanese garden. I practically had the whole place to myself. This burst of morning activity led to an afternoon nap.

Ghosts of Christmas Past

Big Blue Tree

The world moves on, with secular concerns of the new year overtaking the spirit of the last. By the time that the wise men arrive, the manger will be long vacant. Dan flies out today. We will miss having him around. Anne has a new mini-long term substitute gig lined up that starts tomorrow. She will be filling in until a permanent teacher can be hired. You can already tell that the days are beginning to get a little longer. I too have begun looking forward. I’ve roughed out the itinerary for this year’s western excursion. Making booking, when necessary six-months in advance. I wonder if the National Parks will have reopened by then? Because of my past booking history, I’m getting solicitations now from the parks service’s lodgers for near term deals. Seems too risky in today’s environment. I like the highlights.

Epiphany

Two Turtle-doves

It is the new year. People want to put the old one behind them. This includes Christmas. I’ve seen trees tossed to the curb. One unfortunate had even been leaf blown over, so that it looked camouflaged, like an extra big pile of leaves. They weren’t fooling anyone, least of all the guys tasked to collect this stuff. I mean, whatever happened to the twelve days of Christmas? If you do the math, they don’t end until the sixth, Epiphany. I mean, what’s the rush? Are we really that anxious to see February? Even the serfs got all twelve off. I’m not arguing a fighting withdrawal in the war on Christmas. It just so happens that I’ve come into a treasure trove of holiday pictures. They are all of seasonal decorations at the botanical gardens and I want to use this full holiday season to share them with you. I certainly don’t want to have to wait until next year.

Joanie graciously invited us to accompany her on the garden’s last night of their Glow-fest. Unlike in past years, it wasn’t freaking cold. New for us this year was the model train exhibit, but you’ll have to wait for that. I’d spent the better part of the afternoon re-culling our 2018 photo archive for a few more acceptable pics to post. In my humble opinion, the cupboard is beginning to look bare and it is not even Lent yet. That’s why I intend to milk this new trove.

After the gardens, we adjourned to the City Diner for a late sup. We’ve eaten there often, but always for breakfast. Walking in I wondered what I would order. As it turned out, a hamburger and fries was at their limit. The service was slow, but once delivered the offered mustard and ketchup never arrived, at least in time. Nor were we asked about ordering additional drinks or even offered water refills, let alone the obligatory ask about how’s your meal, which never occurred. Confronted, the waitress complained that they were short-staffed.

Meanwhile, the next table that was seated after us, was already leaving. In anger, I stiffed her on her tip. I almost never do this and can remember when I did it last. There the waitress just ignored us in favor of more lucrative tables, in a very busy restaurant. The staff from this evening’s outing had no such excuse. The number of empty tables increased exponentially, while we sat there and it wasn’t half full when we entered. Still, I feel bad for stiffing her. She tried, just didn’t succeed. Anne had earlier asked me, what I wanted to do in this new year. I offered kind of a lame answer. Maybe, I should try to be kinder to others. It’s an epiphany that I wish had come sooner and it is in the Christmas spirit.