Yesterday was unseasonably warm for mid-January. With the temperature hoovering around 70 degrees, it was a perfect day to be out and about. Because it also was a holiday, a group of eight of us met for lunch at Lewis and Clark in St. Charles, MO, to celebrate my niece's birthday. Maybe it was the warm weather, but I decided to try something different. I ordered the spicy gumbo soup and house salad. It was the first time I had their gumbo, and it was a spicy surprise. I would order it again.
After lunch, four of us decided to take a walk down Main Street and visit some shops. First on our agenda was Main Street Book Store. Vicky, the owner, welcomed us warmly, and we chatted a bit. The store looks great. I intended to ask if Vicky had any copies of the St. Louis Writers' Guild anthology, but as usual I got side-tracked talking and looking around and forgot to ask. After my sister bought a crossword book for her husband, we were on our way.
The warm weather brought out shoppers. The street was busy, which is a good thing for the merchants, but not so good if you're trying to jay-walk across the street.
After a few more stops I bought some candles, and my sister-in-law found a cute pair of earrings. Next was Riverside Sweets for their peanut brittle, which my brother-in-law claims is the best he's ever eaten, and my husband also likes to munch on. Their chocolate-covered pretzels are yummy. The store was crowded, with long lines to order ice cream and pay for candy. Some folks, entered, saw the long lines, then left.
After paying, I waited outside for the others in our group. I watched a husband, wife, grandma, and young girl about seven walk in then quickly exit. The girl complained, "But Daddy, I want an ice cream." Her father told her, "Life's a b****. We need to find a bathroom." Why would a dad talk to his daughter that way, no matter how badly he needed to find a bathroom?
As we wandered to our cars I spotted a sign at another store. The white, letter-size sign was hand-printed in black and read: "CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON." I did a second take on that one and wished I'd brought my camera.
My first thought was that eating meat covered with chocolate just doesn't seem right. As much as I like chocolate (and bacon is okay), I don't think meat dipped in chocolate would be tasty. But what do I know? I've eaten ham cooked with brown sugar and pineapple on top. Maybe the chocolate covered bacon is a sweet and salty combination like a chocolate-covered pretzel.
As I got in the van and drove home I decided that judging without trying limits my experiences and narrows my thinking. While I doubt that I'll ever try the chocolate-covered bacon, my lesson yesterday was to enjoy the surprises in life--like 70 degree weather in January and spicy gumbo soup--and be open to new ideas and experiences. Isn't that what creativity is all about?
What about you? Have you tried something you didn't think you'd like but were pleasantly surprised?