A few weekends ago my husband had his 50 year high school reunion. He is from a small town in Iowa and going back is like going back in time...kind of like back to Sheriff Taylor's, Mayberry! More about that later...
We did manage to find a lovely Bed and Breakfast to stay in for the weekend. While I chose not to attend the festivities, I wanted a nice place to stay in to enjoy and relax over the weekend. The Bed and Breakfast was in the carriage house of a beautiful grand old home. It had everything you might need for the weekend! A sitting area, mini kitchen, comfy bed, and more. An antique Library rolling ladder led to a cute loft. I would have loved to take that ladder home with me!
We have only been to a few B & B's in our day but each one was a great experience with perfect accommodations! I highly recommend them! This time there was a little glitch, however. The owners' daughter was in the hospital having a baby out of town and they wanted to be there so they were not going to be home. There was not going to be "breakfast" with this B&B. No problem though. They discounted the price and we got along nicely on our own! As long as there is a coffee pot...we got this!
Now about the "going back in time" part...My husband, Les, has a 94 year old Aunt, Aunt Bea, still living in the community. (This Mayberry even has an Aunt Bea!) She is very active, living alone in her own home, and even still mowing her own" over-one-acre-lawn" on a riding lawn mower. She doesn't do the ditches and does it in three days now, though, as she likes to explain. Apparently she has "slowed down" to this new scenario and wants us all to know that she is not as spry as she once was. Her home is filled with amazing antiques which are fun to see when we visit her.
We took her out to lunch and went to a favorite diner of many older locals: Pies And More. Owned by Gene, a friend of Les', it has been there for as long as anyone can remember. Pies, of course, are their specialty and no one eats without ordering a piece of homemade pie. And just so you get the kind that you want, you order your piece of pie first. Sometimes as you walk in the door, "Hey, Gene, hand me that piece of Peach Pie" before we sit down". Like that. It looks funny to see people waiting for their food, all with a piece of pie in front of them. As we wait we hear Gene yell at someone, " Hey, don't eat that pie until you've eaten your lunch! Didn't your Mom teach you anything?"
Because they are so busy during lunch time, it looks like we might have to wait a bit, the hostess/waitress informs us. Unless we want to sit at the community table. Never one to be patient, Les says we'd take the community table. And here's the REAL "going back in time in a small town part"...the community table is a table in the middle of the room seating 8 people where anyone can just sit down and join the others that are there. So we sit down and join an elderly lady and two elderly gentlemen. "Welcome", one of the gentlemen says to us, "Every table should be like this! Everybody eating together!" We enjoy great conversation with them. The men are very talkative and friendly while the woman eats quietly. They tell us they come here often for the good homemade food and pie. Notice our pie siting in front of us while we wait for our meal. Mine is rhubarb. Everyone seems to know everyone by name. Even people at other tables get in on the community table conversation. I ask them if I can take their picture. One man says, " You should get one while my mouth is open like most of my pictures are".
Soon, the two gentlemen are done and get up to leave. The woman continues sitting, eating her pie. "Oh, aren't you with those guys?" Les asks. "No", she answers, " I was here first and then they joined me."
My pie was so delicious that I asked Gene if I could order a whole one to take home. He gets up at three in the morning to begin making all the pies. So the next night, after making pies all night, Gene put my pie in a box, put our name on it and left it in the hall outside the Restaurant. Les caught him just as he was ready to leave and tried to pay but Gene wouldn't let him. A FREE whole pie! Thanks, Gene! And where else can you leave something out in the open and not worry about someone taking it? The pie arrived home safe and sound and was devoured quickly!
I recommend everyone try to get away to a small town and have a "Mayberry" experience.
FYI For those of you who don't know what I mean by that...There was an old TV sitcom called The Andy Griffth Show. Andy was a small town sheriff in Mayberry where everyone knew everyone. And Andy had an Aunt named Aunt Bea! The episodes revolved around small town living, though in a humorous and exaggerated way. It was a heart warming but funny comedy.