Seven Quick Takes: St. Louis, Louis Edition

1. It is Spring in St. Louis, where we are visiting my family. Everyday has gotten above 40, and the daffodils are beginning to bloom. There is absolutely no snow on the ground, and it is just lovely. We even had a thunder storm last night! I know that it is wishful thinking for me to hope for Spring in St. Paul when we get back, but next week there does not look sooo bad:

At least it is not single digits with a negative windchill. I could go for a little more sunshine, but then it is almost Spring there so precipitation is to be expected.

2. Dad Update: Our main reason for coming to St. Louis for Spring Break was because my parents could not make their annual March visit to us. Dad is still recovering from his emergency surgery which repaired an aortic dissection. He has some nerve damage, which they think was caused by the dissection itself, which is affecting his ability to use his hands, specifically his left hand. He is still experiencing a lot of pain, which really affects his ability to function. The thing about his surgery is that there is not a lot of precedence of people who have had the exact surgery and recovered from it, so it is all very open-ended as to when he is going to feel all the way healed, or if it will ever be complete. We can only pray, wait, and be thankful that my dad is still with us. He is having good days and worse days. Sometimes, all he is able to do is sleep for a whole day, and other days he goes for long walks. I am convinced more and more that being around happy little kids is the best medicine for him. 🙂 Please continue to keep him and our family in your prayers.

3. We had dinner guests yesterday, and after dessert we started talking about music. Then my parents started singing songs from their charismatic community days, and then Dad got up went to the piano and played a whole concert for us of all the songs he had written, many of them based on scripture. I suggested to him that he make a video that could go viral, and then he could become a famous musician. Who knows? But it was a lot of fun to hear all the songs he played when I was a child growing up.

Photo by yours truly.

4. We have been going all over St. Louis this visit, and it has been fun to see all the sites. We went to Mass near my elementary school, and showed the kids my school on the way home. We went down to the Arch, parked along the river front, and climbed the stairs. The kids were a little afraid that the Arch would fall over on them because the moving clouds in the sky made it look as if the Arch were moving. We did not go up in the Arch, because F is at that age where she does not last anywhere for very long. Instead we went into the Museum of Westward Expansion. The older two loved it, especially when they got to see the covered wagon “like Laura and Mary” rode in from the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.  M took the kids to the free St. Louis Zoo alone, while my dad and I went to get haircuts. I think they had a lot of fun together, and everyone survived.

5. Today we went to the Art Museum and saw the Impressionist France exhibit. It was good, except I really wanted it to be all huge colorful paintings, and those were about a third of the exhibit. It is free on Fridays, so we only paid to reserve our tickets in advance. That turned out to be a good idea, since we would have had to wait an hour to get in if we had not done so. Our older kids really liked the paintings, but F fussed the whole time because she wanted to be let loose out of the sling. Though one man told M that he enjoyed looking at him and the girls more than he enjoyed the art! They also had some early French photography taken on negatives of glass, paper, and waxed paper. It is pretty cool how they were able to take the earliest images. Tonight we are going to get our last Ted Drewes frozen custard until our next visit. I am pretty sure they do not open early enough for us to get some on our way out of town.

6. It is fortunate that the Cardinals are opening the season Monday in Cincinnati and not at home. If they were, it would be a huge sacrifice for me to leave so close to opening day. As it is, I will be able to tear myself away, and M will not have to cancel class next week for my love of baseball. Dad and I once went to a home opener when I was in high school. It was on Easter Monday that year, and we had a lot of fun. St. Louis has such a rich baseball tradition, that I am glad I was raised in. It is almost as cool as being raised Catholic. 😉 I got a chance to see the new “Ballpark Village” when we were leaving downtown after visiting the Arch. It looks pretty nice, I wonder how it will help downtown in the off season.

7. And last of all, we had another basement water issue a couple of weeks ago when the snow started to melt. Then we realized that there is a drainage system in place on our back patio to prevent such a problem which was covered in snow still. We spent a whole day fixing the problem, and knew exactly what to do to get the basement dry quickly. A friend mentioned something that their realtor told them: “There are two kinds of basements: those that leak and those that will.” Oh, home ownership…

Head on over to Jen’s Conversion Diary to read more Quick Takes!