Thank you, Sheryl Crow, for giving me those perfect words. And yes, I think I will soak up the sun :)
On Halloween weekend I was given a most wonderful surprise. That Thursday night, just before 11 pm, I got a call from my boyfriend. He told me that he had decided he would drive 12 hours on Friday to be with me that weekend (everybody say, "awww"). I was ecstatic to say the least! We had both had a rough week and the thought that we still had 25 of the 42 days apart still to go was just too much. I could barely sleep that night. First of all, I kept running through a list in my head of the things I needed to do and clean before Nic arrived. But more importantly, I was caught up in the realization that what I had been waiting for, what was being denied me, was going to show up on my doorstep in less than 24 hours. It was like suddenly being told a week into advent that Christmas was actually going to come tomorrow, several weeks early.
The entire time that Nic was with me that weekend, I couldn't help but look over and see him and think that I wanted so much what I had right next to me. You would think this should always be the case, that we we deeply desire what God has already given us, but more often than not, we stop desiring something after we acquire it. This is a very sad thing. But, this post is not about sad things, it's about a very blissful weekend of wanting what I've been blessed with, a loving boyfriend.
One of the highlights of the weekend was a lunch date to a little mom-and-pop restaurant called The Country Bumpkin's Cafe. I discovered this little treasure on the 30 minute drive from my apartment to the nearest outlet mall. I'm sure 9 out of 10 people speed past this little cafe without noticing its existence. It's on a road bordering country pastures and it looks like someone's house with only a small sign out front. Once I saw it, with it's wrap around porch complete with porch swing, I knew I had to stop and eat there the next time Nic was visiting.
When I was younger and my family would go on road trips, my dad loved to stop at the mom-and-pop restaurants to make sure his family got a slice of Americana in each town. I remember really abhorring having to stop and eat at these places, places like Paul Bunyan's Cook Shanty in the Wisconsin Dells. Of course, we then discovered that the Shanty served fresh, right-out-of-the-oven cinnamon and sugar dough nuts at every table and the biggest stacks of pancakes we'd ever seen (pancakes are a personal addiction). I think this experience might have cured me of my aversion to mom-and-pop establishments. I now thank my dad for taking us to these places, he planted a seed of curiosity and appreciation in me. Now that curiosity was piqued by this Bumpkin's Cafe. Luckily enough, Nic has a wonderful sense of adventure when it comes to food and was more than willing to indulge me by taking me on a lunch date to the cafe.
I had done a little research prior to our date. I wanted to see if the Cafe had a website (I was very doubtful). They did not, but they did have a very popular Facebook page (go figure!). As I scrolled down the list of comments on their wall, I discovered that this place was a favorite in many locals' hearts. They raved about the Bumpkin Burger and their homemade desserts. Perfect. From the Facebook comments I planned out what we should order before Nic ever arrived in Texas. I know, I'm kind of a planning freak.
When Nic and I pulled into the small, gravel parking lot of the cafe, there was only one other car parked in front of the large porch. An older couple sat at a wooden picnic table on the porch. Both of them stopped and said hello as Nic and I made our way inside the tiny restaurant. It was kind of like walking into someone's covered porch at their home. It was full of mismatched tables and chairs and the walls were decorated with Texas country memorabilia (ahem, remember the decor of the Big Texas Saloon?). A lady, who could have been our grandmother, leaned out to us over the ledge of a half opened door. She asked us how we were and pointed us to menus that were paper print outs stapled together. I already had in mind what we should order, but we looked anyway. We ordered the Bumpkin Burger, the peach cobbler and of course I got sweet tea, then we headed outside to the porch to wait for our lunch.
When our burger arrived, it screamed Texas. It's a big burger, with the works of lettuce, tomato, onion, but it's also topped with barbecued beef. Cow and more cow. Mmm, baby, but was it tasty! I'm not a huge meat person, but this made me a believer from the first bite. Nic and I were glad we split it because it was rather big (but it's Texas, so we shouldn't have been surprised) and we wanted to leave room for our cobbler. It came out shortly after we finished the burger. It had literally just come from the over and was too hot to eat. When we could eat it though, we agreed we had never eaten so much sugar, butter, and biscuit soaked in sticky sweet peach syrup. We joked that Nic would need a shot of insulin as well after this dessert. It wasn't the best cobbler, but the burger and sweet owners who severed us were worth it.
I can't wait to take my mom, dad and brother to the Country Bumpkin's Cafe. Just knowing it exists and having eaten it's signature burger makes me feel more like a local.