Born to Roam: Week 4

Last Sunday, we visted Word of God Ministries church. It’s probably categorized as a mega-church. We kind of like those. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd of people at churches so loud and full. We found my coffee shop friend surprisingly easily; it was comforting to feel like we knew someone there.

After service we went to Ki Mexico with Coffeeshopfriend. I was skeptical of the restaurant because it looks like it’s in the back of a gas station from the outside. But I was pleasantly shocked with the hipster/Mexican vibes on the inside. I got a brisket taco and a shrimp & beet taco. Wow, they were good!

Coffeeshopfriend totally understood the idea of skipping smalltalk for the good of quickly forming a friendship. The three of us sat in Ki Mexico for almost two hours telling our life stories and discussing the importance of relationships and connection no matter where you are spiritually/physically in life. We agreed to meet up again and enjoy the twelve weeks of present friendship we had left. It’s wild to think that this began one day when Coffeeshopfriend looked over my shoulder and decided to ask about my website.

I hate to sound boring, but I have loved cooking this week. I make smoothies for Ethan and I before he goes to work. I get to pack him a lunch to take with him. I love getting to plan our meals for the evening and try new recipes. I’ve even genuinely enjoyed cleaning our little place and giving attention to smaller details. I’m a loser, I know. I’m sorry to disappoint.

Turns out, during one of my running ventures with the dog last week, I sprained my foot. It actually happened before the run while we were walking down the stairs. It had been raining, so they were a bit slippery. Ralphie got excited about being outside and pulled me down about eight steps. It definitely hurt, but it wasn’t excrutiating, so I proceded to run five miles on it that day. I didn’t know anything major had happened until Ethan was evaluating me later (sometimes having a husband with a doctorate pays off).

Due to that injury, I had to be off my foot for the most part of about a week. But Ralphie still had plenty of energy and no mercy for my poor foot. I decided I would attempt a bike ride with that crazy dog. For a few miles, it worked out just fine; but long story short, it ended with me crashing the bike, Ralphie running into the street, and a cop pulling over to catch him and yell at me. He really complicates my life sometimes. But, oh, he does bring me such joy.

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When Ethan and I moved down here, we moved out of Ethan’s parent’s house. When I had our mail forwarded to our new address, and I selected “forward for entire family”, I totally forgot that Ethan and I were living with our entire family and not just ourselves. Therefore, all of my in-laws’ mail has been coming down here for a couple weeks. I found this to be a bit funny, but I don’t think anyone else did.

I’ve been having to make a few trips to the post office a week to handle sending their mail back to them. Until now, I’ve probably only been to a post office like ten times in my entire life. With all the mail I’ve needed to forward and packages I’ve needed to ship for Christmas, I’ve been seriously appreciating the value of those places. They are these locations of connection to people who are hundreds of miles away. That’s insane. So, I’ve decided I guess I don’t mind the insanely long Christmas waiting lines in there.

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After trying several of the local coffee shops in town, I determined that my favorite is the Starbucks café inside of Barnes & Noble. You just can’t beat the mixed smell of new books and coffee. Plus, the crowd that gathers in that café is usually of the senior variety and I enjoy that because they are quiet and don’t bother me.

My lovely, yet mildly technologically impaired, mother-in-law, Martha FaceTimed me for assistance in setting up her printer one day while I was in the Barnes & Noble café. I wasn’t much help from so far away, but I was a good listening ear as she struggled on the other end. It was a cute scene to have her set up on my phone against my laptop talking to me while I wrote. It almost felt like a real visit with her.

On a rainy day that I’d finished all my chores and couldn’t do much outside with the dog, I found myself at the art museum. I was greeted by an older, well-dressed gentleman who opened the door for me and gave me the general low-down of what I would see in each section of the museum.

Each room of the mueum was heavily guarded by its own elderly, well-dressed volunteer. Half of the art is relatively focused on American history and scenes relating to that, and the other half is more focused on landscape/nature. It was inspirational to walk around and admire the incredible works. I’m so the person that can sit down in front of one painting and stare at it for hours. Sometimes it is nice to be completely stuck inside my own head.

Most of the paintings had quotes above them that may or may not have had anything to do with what was pictured. One of my favorites that I read was “The world is a book and those who travel read only one page”.

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The very first thing one needs to grasp about the city of Natchitoches is that it is pronounced “Nak-a-dish”. It’s such the perfect little southern town, complete with plantation style homes, brick roads, general stores, magnolia trees, and a bayou. Apparently, a decent amount of the movie “Steal Magnolials” was filmed in Natchitoches.

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A city roughly an hour south of Shreveport, Natchitoches is well known around here for their annual lights festival, which goes on all of December. Actual miles of the downtown area had lights strung above the roads. The local businesses were decked out in Christmas decorations and one could not escape the sound of Christmas music. Food trucks lined most of the roads by the bayou and there were plenty of games and activities for kiddos.

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Shreveport is universally considered a “yankee town” by most anyone in Louisiana (excluding the population of Shreveport). I definitely didn’t understand why until we ventured around in Natchitoches! The accents are much thicker and every restaurant dish is served with a meatpie that may or may not be filled with alligator meat.

Of course, no Louisiana celebration is complete without the explosions of fireworks. Oh my goodness, this display was unbelievable! Everyone stood along the bayou, as there was no official seating. We staired across the water and up at the sky, and watched as the lights filled us with even more Christmas spirit.

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Liv – Authentically

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