Saturday, January 18, 2014

Peripheral Vision

Remember the end of  Forrest Gump when Forrest reflects back on his life to Jenny?  Instead of speaking of the horrors of war, he chose to remember the star-filled sky when the rain stopped; he recounted the bayou sunset instead of the tough life of shrimping; spoke of the desert vistas instead of the pain and fatigue of his cross-country run.  I hope to look back on my life in similar fashion.  That requires a change of attitude which, as I've written, is the primary goal of the new year for me.  I need to look at life more globally again and take in everything around me.  I don't want to be so caught up in whatever may be bothering me....or whatever I'm eating...that I forget to notice what's going on around me.  This may include a bit of nature I may be overlooking or something as simple as artwork on an eatery's walls.

The artwork above comes from Parkville Coffee, a way-cool little java joint near where we live.  Our favorite area to run is along the Missouri river in Parkville and we came to check out Parkville Coffee when we saw many of our fellow runners heading in for their caffeine fix.  Exposed brick and vintage furniture set the scene that's also alive with eccentric flourishes like the local artwork and the cool condiment dispensers below.  The coffee is the thing, though, and they have their own beans and brewing methods (our friend Carl is hooked on these beans...with good reason).  I had a killer latte and and a wonderfully gooey Baked Cheese sandwich the last time I was in and their quiches are known to be excellent as well.

 The restroom door below comes courtesy of the Vineyards restaurant in Weston.  We came late one December afternoon to join the Posse gals but did get to order dessert.  While waiting, I was told I just had to check out the bathroom...not something I often hear.  It turns out, its not so much about the bathroom itself but the steep, slightly harrowing trip down the narrow stairwell.  This door is what you discover and it's a very creative way to announce the restroom is unisex.  The girls did tell us we missed an amazing lunch that day and they spoke highly of the flavorful pesto chicken salad and panko-fried crab cakes with jalapeno corn puree and red-pepper relish.  The desserts we did get to sample were no slouch though, especially the luscious rum cakes.

I posted the below photo earlier, but it remains one of the more peculiar oddities at the Mud House coffeehouse in St. Louis.  As much of the walls include some offbeat and surreal artwork (like the one featuring a snow-capped Michael Jackson), that's saying something.  Still, the plastic baby peering from inside the wall is slightly creeptastic.

 The events at the Klarland home in Lawrence this year were tinged in sadness due to Torben's passing, but their Scandinavian-inspired decor is always something to behold, especially at the holidays.  It's still difficult to distract me from that sumptuous dessert table, though.

This outdoor floral arrangement above was certainly festive outside of Madison's Cafe (with the awesome Madison's salad) in Jefferson City. Courtesy of River City Florist, they beautifully lit of the downtown streetscape.

Pulling into the parking lot around dawn at the hotel, my mind is usually bound by thoughts of the day ahead.  The neon sign simply look gorgeous in the morning light.

 The above scene is the view from Carolyn's sun room where we sat and had dinner with her on a few occasions.  I'm glad she has such a beautiful view to look out on.

Finally, the setting at twilight from last year's Missouri Wine Festival at the Elms.  

It's good to reflect but the goal is to appreciate less in retrospect and more in the moment.  Here's to clearer vision...


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