David and I went to Des Moines for the three-day weekend over July 4th. We stopped at Mom’s on the way home and she asked us what we did. She thought we might have gone to the zoo.

Nope, we ate and shopped!

We have a rule to eat only at restaurants where we have never eaten before. We saw two restaurants that Guy Ferrari reviewed on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives.” Only one was open because of the holiday weekend.

“The Flying Mango” serves Caribbean barbecue. David ordered the “24 Hour Smoked Brisket Sandwich” with Cole slaw and Caribbean potato salad, (It’s made with bacon). I ordered “Garlic and Lime Shrimp with Mango Salsa over Peppered Fettuccine” with garlic bread. The food was unforgettable, but that was not my favorite meal.

My favorite meals were where I ordered plain salads, but we ate with family members. My niece and her husband live in Des Moines and we met them at an Italian restaurant that they hadn’t tried yet. We ate, talked, and laughed for 2 1/2 hours.

We were lucky because next door was a band and they were going to shoot off fireworks. People ate quickly and hurried to get a good seat. We lingered, and left right before they put up the barricades for the fireworks.

My second favorite meal was at a Dairy Queen!

We stopped in Knoxville on the way up to see Aunt Lesta’s new condo. (I never thought she would leave the farm!) It was gorgeous! I want one just like it. The three of us ate at Dairy Queen and she told us stories about David’s grandpa and some of the events at her wedding. They were precious memories that we can now share with our children.

I’ve decided to plan our next get-away around family. I want to eat with family, or friends, every chance we get.


Paul commended Onesiphorus for visiting often, (see 2 Timothy 1:16-18). Visiting and eating meals together is how we show our love.

1 John 4:12, “No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.” New Living Translation

“Simple availability is the most powerful force we can contribute…” Grace Notes: Daily Readings with a Fellow Pilgrim, by Phillip Yancy

Dear Father God,

Thank You for the lovely get-away. Thank You for our large, extended family. We are so blessed! Thank You for rest and rejuvenation that gives us energy to do the tasks that You have called us to do.

In Jesus Name,


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