Finding friends in familiar places

Friday, June 22, 2012

There is no better feeling of true friendship than being treated like family by strangers.

My wife and I made new friends last Saturday during the United In Christ Lutheran School Yard Tour in Frohna and Altenburg in east Perry County.

One of the prettiest drives you can take from Cape Girardeau almost any time of the year is north on Route W to Fruitland and then continue northeast on Route C through Pocahontas to Frohna and Altenburg, two of the communities settled by German Lutherans immigrants whose religious endeavors led to the formation of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran branch of Christianity.

There is a marvelous museum in Altenburg that treasures that German Lutheran history, and it's well worth a visit.

But the focus during Saturday's yard tour was the beauty of flowers, shrubs, trees and the kind of landscaping that can take years and years to fully mature. Two of the homes on the tour, the Petzoldts and the Muellers, reflected the efforts of many growing seasons. The other two, the Bachmanns and the Hadlers, demonstrated how well-landscaped yards get their start. All of them were a delight.

But most delightful of all was the warm welcome we received at each beautiful yard. We will always remember the many times we have been made to feel right at home in the Frohna and Altenburg communities. What treasures they are for Southeast Missouri.

By the way, the yard tour was a fundraiser for a trip the United In Christ Lutheran School seventh- and eighth-graders will be making to Washington, D.C., next spring. If you missed the yard tour but would like to support the students, call 573-824-5428.

Thank you to all the folks who made Saturday such a special day. We had a grand time.

Time for a Missy Kitty update. One year ago we adopted this supersmart furry creature from Safe Harbor. She was, we were told, a year old when she became queen by divine right of our household. That makes this her two-year birthday anniversary.

Missy Kitty is big in every way except size. Most anyone who sees her for the first time thinks she is still a kitten. Believe you me, she knows how to play that card.

As an indoor-outdoor cat, Missy Kitty spends a considerable amount of time out of our sight. Where she goes, for sure, is anyone's guess. But we suspect she has conned more than one neighbor with her lovey eyes and raucous purring.

When she comes into our house, her home, she expects to get a splash of milk, just enough to cover the bottom of her special dish that resides on our kitchen floor. Cat food, the real stuff, is out in the garage.

Missy Kitty would have you believe that the physical act of coming in the family-room door entitles her to milk. So she has developed a routine of sorts to get the most for her efforts.

If I let her in and give her milk, she almost immediately asks to go outside. When my wife lets her in a few minutes later, Missy Kitty puts on quite a show, all intended to convince my wife that (a) she hasn't been in at all today, (b) she needs milk -- now! and (c) the Big Guy is lying through his teeth when he says I've just had milk.

You don't have to wonder. She gets milk again. Not that there are any softies in our family, particularly my wife who is allergic to cats.

Gotta go. Cat's at the door.

Joe Sullivan is the retired editor of the Southeast Missourian.

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