Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Bridge

My Grandparents traveled on this bridge on an almost daily basis for nearly 30 years. When they moved to Missouri from California in the 1970's, they built their home just beyond those wooded hills and their grown children quickly followed - building houses and lives of their own.

The old bridge has been a pathway to home. A road to comfort.

A few years ago, its working status was retired to make way for a newer, more reliable bridge.

Now, with its charming arches and narrow lanes, the old bridge is a place to stop and admire the river below. It's the trail head of a path through the glade along the edge of the river, a starting point for both adventures and relaxation.

We - the entire extended family - visited there this weekend for a special dedication of a set of picnic tables that were donated to the bridge in my Grandma's honor by my cousin in-law.

It's so nice to know that her name is etched into something that she would have loved...she was a lover of nature and fresh air and - perhaps most fittingly - food. These picnic tables will be enjoyed by many people over the years, and it will be like she's welcoming them to her table. Which, knowing her sense of hospitality and love, she would have done without hesitation.

We stayed on the bridge for a while, enjoying the warm fall evening - playing with the rambunctious little ones and stopping for photo ops.

Mia, in her fairy ballerina dress-up clothes, enjoyed the wide open space to chase and play with her cousin, Laney. (Who is, Mia will tell you without hesitation, her very best friend. Daddy and Mommy and Lauren rank behind Laney, always.)

Lauren quickly tired of the stroller and would not be left out of the fun. She wandered around the bridge joyfully, searching out tiny free objects to toss overboard.

Thankfully, the only free objects were bits of gravel and pebbles, but she never got tired of sending them to the water below.

I hadn't noticed before this moment - with my tiny daughters to show me - how low the walls of the bridge are. We parents were all constantly catching our breath as the little ones tried to climb up for a better look at the water. But we couldn't blame them. The view was gorgeous. Roaring and swirling and gorgeous.

With Lauren roaming the bridge, my niece Evelyn commandeered the stroller. She's going to be just like her daddy - always trying to find the coolest ride, looking for speed and excitement.

Which Aunt Sarah is happy to provide right before I turn her over to her parents to deal with the juiced-up aftermath.

We stayed through sunset, seeing the colors of the bridge change from gray to gold to purple. Soaking up the sweet breeze off the water below.

By the time the sky was dark and dozens of barn swallows darted above us, it was time to go. Bedtime was near; dreams of rivers and sunsets and bridges and picnics were surely about to dance across the tiny minds of our children. And the remembering minds of their parents.


  1. I remember that bridge! What a great thing and a great day for you all. Thanks for sharing! I can't believe how fast time flies. It is still weird to me that everyone has moved from that street we all knew so well.

  2. What a wonderful way to commemorate your grandmother! I love the background story to the bridge and the meaning it holds for you and your family. (Great pictures too!)

  3. Ha! So funny this is your entry today. I was just randomly looking at a google map of Joplin, as in, if you click "back" on my browser you will get the map of Joplin. Trying to plan for coming home in two weeks! Can't wait to see you!
    While looking at that map, I specifically took note of the new bridge and wondered what had happened to the old one. So glad it has a new, wonderful, and family friendly use. I may just have to take Cesar down there for a picnic and enjoy those wonderful tables!

  4. Beautiufl photos! Gald they kept the bridge. What history :)

  5. Hey girl, I'm so pleased to "meet" you! Thanks so much for visiting my blog and commenting. You have such a darling little family, and I'll be back to visit ya real soon!


  6. You're right, the view over that low wall is stunning. What a great place to spend the evening!

    And Mia looks adorable in her dress-ups, by the way.

  7. What a wonderful way to leave a legacy in your grandmother's name. And what great memories.

  8. I love the picture you took of the view of the new bridge from the old bridge. And the picture of your family -- so sweet!

  9. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I would love for you to follow, and after checking out yours, I hope you don't mind if I follow you as well! Your daughters are adorable! Truly heaven-sent. :) And I loved the letter to the Terrible Two's. If only they/it (not really sure WHAT to call the terrible two's) would listen...

  10. What a great bridge - and legacy to your grandparents. It looks like you had some sweet extended family time. :) Love all the pictures!

  11. Love your pictures. And Mia is so darn cute in her little fairy outfit!


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?