It was an interesting day downtown for me. From brunching at Bluewater to the sauna and plunge at Sisu to the little boy painting my toes (ha, he’s probably 20, not 12) and then waiting for my 5:00 yoga class, I found myself on a nostalgic trip down memory lane as I entered the Chattanooga Choo Choo area.
I worked there in the early 90s. I was the supervisor at the Gardens Restaurant. I was stuck there during the Blizzard of 93, and we spent many a night hanging at the back of the kitchen listening to the singers in The Station House and looking out the back alley where they housed the horses for the carriage rides.
So much had changed. Two apartment complexes were on the property with a 3rd under new construction (some think the hotel itself will shut down at some point and only the original station and train cars will remain). Both The Gardens restaurant and the Station House had closed and been replaced with Stir, Frothy Monkey and a few other pubs along a cobblestone alleyway that had replaced the scary one we had become accustomed to.
College students abounded with their laptops, earbuds, iced coffees and homework. Big Band music filled the air, girlfriends walked hand in hand, and a newly married couple stole a kiss as they walked through the doors, laughing and smiling, full of dreams and future possibilities.
My Sunday was amazing as I gathered, mingled, and crossed paths with Catholics and Jews and Methodists and Church of Christ’s and Baptists and Seventh Day Adventists. We’ve all found a common thread in business and family and friendships and change – oh, don’t forget change. And we find ourselves better for it. Loving each other and allowing space for our differences. Allowing God to be God without our egos and arrogance getting in the way of our human experience together.
My evening ebded on a sad note as I took an alcohol and drug assessment to the family member of my good friend who needed long term residential treatment, and who also needed this same love and no judgement to allow her a chance at healing and freedom from a life-threatening alcohol addiction.
So this post and day are dedicated to her. She is a beautiful woman, she just got lost along the way and she’s forgotten how beautiful she really is. It hardly seems fair at times to enjoy such freedom and a beautiful day such as today when there are so many who aren’t free, but my prayer is that she’ll reach for this same freedom and come share a Cup ‘O Joe when she is.