That's the clever name -- or at least I always thought it was clever -- of a Nashville deli-style eatery, famous for its Jewish specialties like matzoh ball soup. There's a location about two miles from Noel's folks' house, a hand-me-down from his paternal step-grandparents, in the fashionable Belle Meade village. (Al Gore built a new house a couple of years ago, a block down from where I'm typing right now.)
Not that I'm sitting in a mansion; no, this neighborhood has relatively modest post-war split-level ranch houses cheek-by-jowl with looming Spanish three-story jobs constructed in the last decade. I'm in one of the former. I'll bet this property could sell for big bucks as a tear-down, considering the ritzy location, but I don't know that selling is a possibility for my in-laws -- not as long as the parents who gave them the house are still around to be hurt if it's treated like a commodity rather than a bequest.
I drove the last two thirds of the journey here, starting in West Memphis. Normally I don't take the wheel until after we've crossed the Mississippi, because I have gephyrophobia -- a fear of driving over bridges. I don't know when it started, but the first time I noticed it as something debilitating was when we moved to Conway. I made sure I was driving the car, not the rental truck, when we got to the I-40 bridge over the Mississippi, and even then it was all I could do to keep going. I remember just fixating on the back of the truck that Noel was driving and chanting "you're almost there, you're almost there" to myself -- out loud -- in order to make it across.
But Noel was very tired today because he stayed up late last night (for the 13-inning Braves game) and didn't sleep well, and when he's not at ease driving I can't relax either. I took over after lunch, about fifteen miles before the river crossing, and I found as I drove that I wasn't getting nervous about the bridge. Somewhat to my surprise, I drove across with no anxiety, conversing easily with Noel.
I don't know if that means my phobia is gone, or whether I'm just used to that bridge; the thought of a high bridge still makes me squirm. But it was an unexpected moment of growth in the middle of a trip where I mostly anticipate headaches. (No offense to my in-laws meant; I just dread dealing with the kids' disrupted routines and sleep patterns. And aside from the mostly pleasant journey here, that's what we're dealing with so far -- the kids are yelling at each other in their common bedroom even as I type. Here's hoping this doesn't set the pattern for the next three days.)