Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Year In My Life Through Pictures Day 23a

The family, my mother in law, Adam from Tom's Bar B Q and me

Yep, 2 posts today. Why? Because we took a trip to Memphis to meet my mother in law and drop the 2 youngest boys off to spend the week with her and my father in law in Arkansas. Before I left the house I had already written the blog post titled "A Year In My Life Through Pictures Day 23b", but at the time it was not a "b", it was just the post awaiting a picture to add to it. I knew it would be late when we got back, so I wanted to have the post prepared, since I had been to Graceland before and knew what to expect, plus I'm old enough to remember when Elvis was till alive.

So, this post is the main one for the day, the real reason I am doing this. To show and tell my story by pictures with a little write up for each picture. We met Dottie, my mother in law, in Memphis at Tom's Bar B Q and Deli, for lunch before proceeding to Graceland.

"Why Tom's", you may ask. I watch a program on The Food Network called "Diners, Drive Ins and Dives" with host Guy Fieri (pronounced Fietie for some reason?) in which he travels around to favorite local spots. Tom's was featured in his Memphis BBQ show once and I filed it away in my brain for future reference in case I ever made it down to Memphis and needing to partake of some food. This trip comes up, so I searched for Diners, Drive Ins and Dives Memphis restaurants and low and behold, there's Tom's on the list again, along with 2 other places. I thought I would be nice and let my beautiful wife make the choice and she chose Toms (which I had chosen too, but did not tell her). So, the plans were made.

When we got there, it did not really resemble what I remembered about the place in "DDD", but it all started coming back to me when we stepped inside and I saw the pictures of Guy and owner Adam hanging around. The phrase "All aboard the flavor train, the rib tips are off the track" emblazoned made the episode rush back. I recommend watching the episode online to see just how they prepare the food.

The food was the draw and it definitely did not disappoint. It was very, very good BBQ. But what really made the place, for me, was how we were treated as customers. Adam greeted us himself, the others working there as well met us with smiles and chit chat about where we were from and how we heard of the place. All Chandra had to do is mention Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and it was on. Because of that, and possibly the 3 hour drive there, Adam hooked us up with a sampler plate of Guy's favorite rib tips and BBQ bologna. I'm not talking just a couple of small morsels either, this was a well packed plate and it was "off the track".

When we finished eating what we had ordered, BBQ pork and fries for me, we received yet another surprise. One of the ladies there brought out all 5 of us a bowl of strawberry shortcake. Instead of whip cream, these had icing on them which really made it for me. Excellent! The BBQ is indeed "off the track", top notch and some of (if not THE) best BBQ I have ever had. Chandra said it indeed IS the best for her, and we eat some BBQ.

But I can't say enough about how we were treated during the whole visit there. We actually went back before hitting the road home and bought some bring home BBQ pork and BBQ bologna. This is probably the best dining experience I have ever had, bar none. The extra mile everyone went to ensure we felt appreciated was genuine and taken to heart by us all. The excellent BBQ would have been enough, but knowing that each customer is appreciated and made to feel it goes further than anyone could imagine.

Not that Adam or any of the others at Tom's Bar B Q and Deli will ever read this blog post, but a big ol' THANK YOU to everyone there for making this day memorable for us. If you are ever withing driving distance of Memphis you should, for sure, stop in for lunch or dinner are Tom's. You will not be disappointed.

One other thing about today. My role as leader of my family has lacked greatly in the Spiritual leadership area. I don't know why either, it should come natural, but I fail miserably at guiding my family properly in the ways of the Lord. Today could have very well have been another failure in that department too. I wanted to start the car ride out with a prayer for protection and asking that the Lord guide us through the day and let us marvel at the beauty He created just for us to behold. Well.... I didn't pray with the family before we departed. I did one on one with God, even while I was driving and really started to get bothered that I did not include Chandra and the boys in this. So when we stopped for gas in Mayfield, 20 minutes from our driveway I led the family in just the prayer I mentioned above. And instantly I knew that God was in control. I don't know if the thoughts in my head were my thoughts or God speaking directly to me, but either way I know that praying with my family was and is the right thing to do before undertaking anything - a trip, dinner, playing a game, having a conversation, anything and everything as 1 Cor. 10:31 says Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Asking God's blessing on everything we do is a step in the right direction for the spiritual guidance of my family. Even the desire for me to be a more godly father and husband is from Him. I praise Him for loving me and allowing me to be His son, co-heir with Jesus. WOW! That's some good stuff right there.

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