The Long and Winding Road



When Sari arrived for her visit to the Cities,
excitement broke out in Minneapolis

Her journey from Billings, however,
had been paved with peril. . .

Perils like the treacherous winding road
on her three-hour grueling drive to Malta

Malta, Montana that is  –  where Sari planned to
rendezvous with Amtrak’s eastbound Empire Builder,
a/k/a Train No. 7 . . .


Adding tricks to the mix,
Malta’s station is unmanned —

H warned Sari to make sure she was on time
since any train stop in Malta lasts half-a-spit, if that . . .

To Sari’s horror, when the train came roaring in,
it’s speed suggested it was not going to stop at all !

Panicking, she yelped in dismay,
leapt into action, and (or so I imagine)
gave chase down the tracks a la Buster Keaton . . .
All the while, her trauma-rama was being
broadcast to her anxious cell-wielding Mum

Much to everyone’s relief,
the engineer just had a lead foot.
As he sensibly screeched to a halt,
Sari hopped on, pulse pounding,
heart still racing.  .  .

Sixteen hours later,
(the time it takes to come down from a typical trauma-rama)
the train pulled into St. Paul’s Midway station.

*        *       *

At that stage, most train travelers are just itching for some terra firma.

And maybe some grub and libations.
Either way, having secured our newly-minted Montanan,
we spirited Sari to an eatery – and fast.

We ended up, for lack of imagination,
at the local fave “The Egg and I”
where this little fellow was patiently waiting
for his patio-dining owner

The cafe is known for its kamikaze pancakes. . .
Should that have been our first clue?

Or should our Little Friend’s desperate
escape attempt have given us a glimmer?

Either way, we missed all the clues.

Most unsettling, according to H,
her Eggs Benedict bordered on the criminal. . .

Yet even its baleful sunny-sided eyes staring out
from under the swell of a sauce of yellow mucous
failed to dissuade H from sliding the crap down her gullet.
In the end, the dubious powdered-egg aftertaste
was just too much for the gourmand. . .

who demanded all photographic evidence of said meal be deleted. . .

So in deference to H’s traumatic eggsperience
no Eggs Benny photos will be displayed . . .

My oatmeal, however, with blueberries, banana and yogurt
might have been boring, but it was tasty
and just hit the spot.  I make no apologies for liking oatmeal
(it’s more creamy, not slimey, as Dee shudderingly describes it)

No soy milk either though, which, to me,
throws serious doubt on the cafe’s 5-star blue ribbon rating

And Sari?  Well Sari ordered the veggie omelette,
and then spent the rest of the meal searching for the egg. . .
The veggies were plentiful,
but crammed most unbecomingly in the omelette’s crepe-like casing.

Moral:  Don’t fall for cutesy-putesy named restaurants. . .

Later that day, we visit Grandma’s,
for intense nail-polish interventions

Stencil ‘zazz:  the Paisley and the Cheetah. . .

Once everyone’s nails were properly pimped,
Tasha slavishly lapped up all the attention

No one noticed Sari’s sudden
interest in Tasha’s toenails. . .

After spying the fallen, neglected tomatoes
in Gramma’s neighbor’s garden,
H marches over to confront the man.

An attentive Tasha views the proceedings. . .

Just in case H’s pleas for produce are not enough,
Sari and Tasha throw in some entertainment. . .

They gallop fetchingly . . .

Sari throws in some low-wire gymnastics. . .

The suspense is killing Tasha. . .

Afterwards . . .

Success!!
Grandma surveys the bounty.

Thanks to H, S and T’s three-pronged attack
neighbor has forked over multiple tomatoes,
three eggplants, two cucumbers
and enough peppers for countless crazy taco nights.

All of that vegetable-baiting
gets a girl thinking about her hair. . .
well, maybe someone else’s hair,
cause after a thorough browbeating,
H succumbs to Sari’s entreaties,
and lets her go all Edward Scissorhands
on her cow-licked locks. . .

Followed by an outdoor spa
color application of course. . .

Perhaps using Gramma’s shears was a bit unorthodox,
but H  is forced to admit the cut is inexplicably cute. . .

Having witnessed Sari’s shocking shearing technique,
I’m nothing short of gob-smacked. . .

Confidence, suggested Paulette, don’t underestimate confidence. . .

“I cut Josh’s hair all the time,”  S says modestly,
and yes, kind of confidently.

Time to take the Godfather, er, Grandma, out for a spin. . .

Tasha obeys by foosing as much as caninely possible . . .
What with Sari’s recent immersion
and canine-degree cred in Advanced Dog Whisperer . . .

The kind of disciplined cred that asks,
Why are you letting [the dog] in first???
Why is [the dog] walking ahead of you??
You don’t let her do that all the time, do you?  DO you??

Er no, of course not!  La Tasha receives the best direction from us all. . . .  <cough>

Grandma smiles her best Mona Lisa.
It’s not easy getting that woman out for a spin !


The Whisperer works it . . .

Irene explains why it’s a bad idea to stencil Tasha’s toenails. . .

But then again . . .

Personally, Tasha is lobbying for the cheeky cheetah print. . .

Back in town, a sophisticated H shows off her new coiffure and nails. . .
What can one say. . .  It’s better to look good, than to feel good. . .eh?

That night, the online-frozen crab cakes are a surprise hit at home
So much so that S consumes the remaining leftovers one by one
during the night’s alarmingly-frequent snackings

The next day we schlep our way
to the Schmall of America
Why?  you may well ask

Is it just “because it’s there?”
Or because when Ohio Mike flies in for a visit
“everyone asks about it” ?

Whichever. . .  for your viewing pleasure. . .

Behold the gentle snowfall of parmesano
over the unassuming tower of terror,
I mean, baked spaghetti. . .

Let me just explain that this unassuming dish
is basically re-baked spaghetti, compressed
and compacted into a towering, quivering block
smothered with an admittedly lovely marinara sauce,
and grated with a tsunami of parmesano flakes
thanks to the sprinkle-happy waitstaff.

To others, it’s a near religious experience. . .

Some are more successful than others
at hiding their fear of compressed spaghetti

S and H discuss the dangers of thwarting/
ignoring the power of Tooch’s baked spaghetti

No trip to the Mall is complete without a stop
at Sari’s spiritual zeitgeist — Sephora.

Swing-testing a flapper dress

Seems perfect for her Halloween party purposes . . .
But S is holding out for vintage-shop hunting

The next day.  . .
we head to St. Paul and along the way,
drop off a lost and found camera to a grateful owner. . .

then we fuel up with Mediterranean munchies before striking out
for the Beatles exhibit at the History Center. . .

S rubs her hands in gleeful anticipation as
H thoughtlessly chews her newly-designed fingernails

The Minnesota History Center is hosting . . .

. . . a little exhibit about a little visit
to Midwest Minnesota in 1965
by a little English boy band

The Historic Camera

Tell me Why-aye-aye-aye You Cried. . .

Met Stadium security workers and police were equipped
with smelling salts in case fans fainted. . .

and why you lie-aye-aye-d to me-ee. . .

Well I beg you on my bended knees. . .

. . . “keep listening to your ‘rock jockey’ “. . .

George, clearly chuffed by the unexpected gift. . .

if you’ll only listen to my pleas. . .


Is there anything I can do-ooo-woo??

Cause I really can’t stand it. . .

I’m so-o-o in love with you. . .

For fans who were booked in the caravan,
the sponsor advised,
“There will be time for you to go to church. . .”

Tickets ranged from $3.50 to $5.50.
The Beatles were paid $50,000.

Tell Me Why-aye-aye-aye .  .  .  .  .

Next up:   Sari stays in constant contact with her beloved Josh
who vindicates himself successfully
by teaching new pup Jasper to “stay” before eating.
Teaching him so well, Jasper continued to sit, and sit, and sit
even after Josh said “Okay – you’re okay to eat. . .”
“Really, Jasper, it’s okay. . .”
“Seriously. . . “

Kinda adorably funny.

Stay tuned for our next installment:  Vintage Vogue

And then:  Who’s the Fair -est of them All!
(i.e., hint:  Flo Jo’s triple crown)

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2 thoughts on “The Long and Winding Road

  1. AAhhh I couldn’t stop smiling while I was reading this. My face is aching! How did you get those malta pics? They were all way too cool. Great job. I cannot wait for the next installment. Thank you for doing these. Love you!

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