I woke to the sound of the freight train across the street. I love the sound of trains.
I slept surprisingly well, considering I was away from home and on a couch. Travel can wear you out. I checked my phone for the time: 5:07, about normal for me. Dense fog advisory. Nice, means it is warming up a bit.
I knew I wouldn’t see Rachel for a while, as she has never really been a morning person. So, after my morning meditation, I drank some Raja’s cup while catching up on social media and writing, enjoying the sounds of the trains, of which there are many. More than I could ever imagine. At 8:20, finally satisfied with my blog post, I decided to venture out for food, as there was still no sign of activity elsewhere in the house.
Thankful for GPS, I searched for local coffee shops, chose one, and headed out. As I drove along the tree lined roads, I passed a bicycle rider, a couple of joggers, and a girl walking a dog. Everywhere I go, people are the same – they all have hopes, dreams, and struggles. The difference is the unique experience each one of us has. Anyway…
I came out of my reverie and found myself on the campus of Iowa State University. I decided to look for another place rather than find myself at some college hangout, so pulled over and checked the GPS. This time I chose Cafe Diem, and here I sit.
It is on Main Street, and it is one of many intersting looking businesses in this restored old downtown area. I enjoyed a Belgian waffle with butter and syrup, and am sipping a cup of excellent coffee with cream and nutmeg.
When I got back to Rachel’s she was up and around and we decided that the day would be well spent down on Main Street. She’s only lived here a couple of years and hasn’t been in all the stores. After we got back to the area, we walked past several beautiful old church buildings. I love looking at old buildings, inside and out. They are generally more interesting than new ones, and better built as well.
After stopping by a local art center, we went back to Cafe Diem for lunch, and both of us enjoyed really good black bean burgers. It is a cool place, has old books, games, furniture, and old doors and windows for dividers
We lingered there for quite some time, talking about our individual spiritual journeys. Her childhood and adolescence were spent in conservative evangelical churches, and in college she found her way to the Orthodox Church and loves it. And I, the one who raised her in the evangelical church, have found my way out of church completely, and feel closer to God than I ever did inside the building. I am very happy that we had that moment, and the best thing is that there is no judgment or trying to convince the other. We each have our own path.
The rest of the afternoon was spent browsing in a couple of great shops. Worldly Goods is a wonderful fair trade outlet, with beautiful handcrafted goods from third world native artisans. I didn’t really plan to buy anything, but sometimes things just jump out at you and you have to get them, you know? So I bought myself a ring and a beautiful purple tunic. I love the style and purple has been calling to me lately.
Next door to that we found a unique antique store called Tangerine Zebra. That is a cool name for a store, and I do wonder where it came from. So many treasures inside! Jewelry and buttons and kitchen gadgets and toys — oh what is that up there? It is a cast iron horse-drawn fire wagon. I had to get it, to go with the cast iron horse-drawn ice truck I already have. I suppose that I have a collection now. Rachel found a pretty necklace watch, and we left there feeling quite content with our purchases.
The rest of the day we just hung out – resting, reading and what-have-you. We ate take out Thai food for dinner, and called it a night.