Dear Policeman or Security Team or Whoever This May Concern~
I know we broke the law. I am so sorry. But let me just tell you that I don’t break the law at any other time, not even with speeding anymore…well, for the most part…most of the time. Well, at least for that year after my last ticket…I may or may not speed every now and then. That is beside the point. It was just too tempting. I HAD to go closer. Please just look away and forget anything you might see in the next few minutes.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart,
A Usually Upstanding Citizen
Indigo begged me not to show the following pictures, since it will be PROOF. I am hoping the above letter will do the trick.
I should start at the beginning.
After a week in Arkansas, we began the long trek to Minnesota. We started out on Tuesday and had the most delightful evening with our friends, Greg & Tonja (yes, I’m spelling her name right!!!) and their amazing kids. We ate the meal of our lives…the best steak, twice-baked potatoes, green beans, brownies & ice cream for dessert. I guess you could say it was the perfect Last Meal before potentially going into the Slammer.
Hypothetically, you could say that. But for now, we’ll just have faith and say it was the best meal ever with our dear friends. No “Last Meal” business, OK?
We sadly said our good-byes and drove through territory that we have driven through many, MANY times.
“I’d really like to stop and look at these antique places sometime…” I said, somewhat wistfully.
We’re always on a mission, trying to GET THERE, whether it’s home or Honey and Papa’s.
Not long after I said it, we passed the sign to see the Bridges of Madison County in Winterset, Iowa. I have always wanted to see the bridges~ I didn’t care so much about it also being John Wayne’s birthplace, sorry, John~ but oh, The Bridges of Madison County…yes, yes, please.
I LOVED the book AND the movie. I BAWLED when Francesca comes so close to getting out of that truck to go with Robert, but decides to stay instead. It is such a romantic, heartbreaking story. If you have not read the book or seen the movie, you should…immediately. Robert James Waller is an amazing writer. Adding to the intrigue, they say the book is fiction, but Waller did say there are “strong similarities” between himself and the “Robert” character in the story. (I totally think it’s a true story.)
I was shocked by the beauty when we pulled off the highway and went back into the farmland. I had no idea Iowa is so gorgeous! We stopped at the St. Charles Welcome Center, a beautifully restored church and guess what they had, filled to the brim? Antiques! Wish #758, Check! A path leads from the church to the Imes Bridge, one of only 5 (or some say, 6) covered bridges that are left. There used to be 20 in the area. The Imes Bridge is the oldest bridge, built in 1870…just a little covered bridge trivia for you there.
We decided to go eat at the Northside Cafe, where Robert Kincaid stops for coffee and offers Lucy a stool. I will just say that afterward, we wished we had seen the restaurant down the way that served paninis. It was interesting to see the cafe, but the years have not done it service. We saw pictures of the place in 1928 and it was fabulous~ tin-ceiling roof and crown molding. Somewhere along the way, paneling came in and well, that is just sad. The stools are still cute though…and the fact that Clint Eastwood sat on one is worthwhile.
My mother-in-law makes a better BLT, though. Sorry, that just popped out.
It was while we were walking through the Cutler-Donahoe Covered Bridge that my camera started flashing the low battery light. TARNATION!!! Never mind, let’s drive through the Cedar Covered Bridge and try to not be so sad that the camera is not working. The Cedar Covered Bridge is featured on the cover of the book. It is actually a replica~ the original bridge was destroyed due to arson in 2002.
At this point, we were still on a schedule, so we didn’t go to the Roseman Bridge, which is sort of the main bridge in the book. It’s the one Robert is looking for when he meets Francesca and asks her for directions. Later, she leaves him a note at the bridge, asking him to come for dinner. He must have been pretty lost because I know by looking at my trusty Covered Bridge MAP, that Francesca’s house and the Roseman bridge were at least 15 miles apart! Next time, we’ll see just how far it really is…
I do know EXACTLY where Francesca’s house is, though. And that is where this story really begins…
Francesca’s house was abandoned for 35 years and restored for the movie. They kept it exactly the same as it was in the movie and the public was allowed to tour the house. Sadly, the house was damaged by arson (GRRRR!!!) in 2003 and is no longer open to the public. This makes me so sad, I can hardly stand it. Why would anyone do such a thing?
We found the gravel road leading to the house…I cursed my camera again for failing me when I need it most. Drat, you dumb camera! I do not sport a fancy phone either, but decided to give it a go when we came up to the house…
Is that a house I see….wayyyyyyyyyy down that driveway??? Yes, that’s the house. This is it!
It just killed me to not be able to go into that house.
To top it off, this was posted just outside the gate…
Wait a minute…do I see someone? Do I see TWO someones?
Um, yes. Yes, I believe I do.
Officer, if you are reading, I beg of you, STOP NOW.
Here’s the deal, I felt part of the gate, realized that no electrical currents were going through that exact part and…told my daughter to take my phone and crawl under the gate.
I’m a horrible mother. But haven’t we established that before???
As I was standing there, realizing that I was sending my daughter to break a rule because I didn’t have the guts to, and oh, dear me, possibly even causing danger to her very life (!), I got my booty under that fence and ran.
Turns out Nate’s cheap phone works in a pinch, too! He took half of these pictures. There’s a little blurriness here and there, but, that’s the price you pay for breaking the law. These are all the PROOF that Indie is so concerned about…he couldn’t take it, though, he had to see what all the excitement was about…I like to call this one, “Three Trespassers.”
My brave girl. She is my hero. Just look what she did for me.
While I was still standing back at the gate, she was clicking these pictures for me.
I’m glad I finally had the nerve to join her. Closer to the house, there was such a peaceful feeling. An eagle was flying overhead and there were neat outbuildings.
Sweet little barn…
I’m angry at whoever burned the house~ you can see the effects of the fire on the left side of the roof. Arsonist, how could you?!
It was at this point that we noticed a cute caretaker’s house in the back. Can you see it, just past the house there? It looked VERY well-cared for…and that is when we began to run.
We ran like the wind.
Some of us faster than others, simply because of youth.
This one, for example, had turned around at the first sight of running…
He is NOT cut out for breaking the law, thank the good Lord.
I am praying that my girl will not get the thrill of danger in her bones. I told her she can only break the law when she is with her mama.
She agreed to that.