Saturday, October 23, 2010

Out to lunch…

I admit I have not been quite as excited at the prospect of turning 61, which will happen tomorrow, as I was on October 24 ...40 years ago (!) when I turned 21. It was a Saturday, and the big deal was that I was going to go on a date with my boyfriend and walk into a liquor store and buy some alcohol.

But I am happy to be alive. I do not feel 61 in my head, but my body occasionally reminds me that yes, you are indeed 61! I am grateful that I feel as well as I do, and very, very grateful that I am no longer 21. There is no point in one wishing that they could go back and try it again and

Do Things Differently

One must not spend a lot of time gazing over one’s shoulder at what was behind. About the only useful thing I think one might be able to achieve by doing that is perhaps glean a bit of wisdom to try to help someone who is going through the same thing and might make the same mistakes; but –one must continue to press on.

My mother always made sure our birthdays were a special time in which she showed us how loved and treasured we were – not by throwing presents at us but by preparing our favorite meal and making the day “nice” in every way she could. I was able to spend a few birthdays back home after we moved here, but now the tradition for most of my birthdays has shifted to picking a good place have a meal.

One of the most memorable meals I have eaten since we moved to Missouri was at the restaurant at the Rockbridge Trout Ranch, but I imagine it has been 15 years since we have been there. Plans to go somehow always got changed. Not this year though.

To get to Rockbridge, one must head out into the Ozark foothills on narrow two-lane state highways, with no wiggle room on either side. Up hill and down hill and around curves passing through woods and cleared areas of pasture with cattle of all shapes and sizes and homes dotted here and there, some nestled into the woods and others surrounded by green lawns, and passing between high bluffs on either side with rocks perching precariously ready to crash down and across very narrow bridges over streams and small rivers. It is a 40-mile drive that takes about an hour, and it is very lovely at this time of year.

And we arrive, finally, very hungry.

And we end up at the same corner table by the windows where we sat at 15 years ago when we last visited here. And I order the same thing I ordered the last time. Trout Almondine...

Lightly pan-fried trout fillet coated with something that has amaretto in it and almonds and grapes. And it is sweet and perfect. The loaf of bread that comes with it is marbled black and white and is delicious.

Not a crumb is left on my plate. I even eat the green garnish on the side.

And then we walked around a bit.

Down to the old mill, which is occupied by a private club and is not open to the public,

and to Spring Creek that flows by the restaurant and feeds the trout hatchery, to watch the men in their waders at the base of the dam that was constructed to divert water to the mill.

And under the foundation of the mill is a black hole out of which comes a spring that feeds into the creek.

And then we take a stroll down the river and sit for a while on the bank and watch the water rushing by...

and it has been a perfect day..

to celebrate being on the far side of 60.


Paula said...

Happy Birthday day and may you have many more. That trout looks goood and the restaurant surrounding looks so inviting. Happy you had a nice day.

Cathy said...

Dear sweet Leilani
Happy Birthday and Welcome to the club. What a fabulous day you had
You know - the far side of 60 (as you put it) is not as scary as I thought the far side of 40 would be lol
Take care

Far Side of Fifty said...

Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! That was beautiful singing if you couldn't tell!! The Far Side of Sixty..I am not too far behind you..I hope you have a wonderful day..and it looks like you had a perfect meal and walk about! :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday!

I used to work in the restaurant at Rockbridge. I loved it. Thank you for the nice pics.

Lisa said...

My mother lives in Gainesville, and every summer when we visit we go to Rock bridge to eat, love it! There is also the best steak place in the world, ( and it only has about 7 tables!) right outside of Theodosia. If you love great steak thats the place to go, call the theodosia chamber of commerce they will tell you the name. Happy birthday!@