Off the Beaten Path

“We’re going to Strawn,” I announced suddenly as I put on my blinker and veered off of the highway.

“But…but…” my son sputtered and pointed, “Strawn is FOUR MILES that way!”

“Exactly.  Four miles off the beaten path, and thanks to the inspiration I get when I watch the movie Cars, I like to explore Radiator Springs now and then.  Besides, the billboard says there is an olive oil soap store.  Who can resist?”

My son threw up his hands and accepted his fate, and so, we did it.  We made an unplanned detour to Strawn, Texas.  And on this Multitude Monday, the snapshots of small town America are still warm in my memory, and still making me smile.

Numbering the photos builds my thank-you list:

(#s 550 – 574)

An Ancient Art Handcrafted Soap Company in Strawn, Texas.

Interesting signs on old brick buildings.

Whimsical and fun store window displays, done by the store owners themselves.

The wonderful SMELL in this place!

Becky Lenoir, one of the two soapcrafters who own the store.  Thank you for doing what it takes to keep your little business going.

The goodies!  Dear Husband had already ripped into “Redford, for Men” by the time of this photo and used it.  Buying 6 bars got us a free sachet, which has soap chips inside.  You use it like a foaming scrubbie.   These new soaps are a treat, but usually, we use my Podunk friend Gina’s handmade Patchouli-Oatmeal soap, which is also amazing. (I can get you the hook up.)

Hand-painted, handcrafted sidewalk planters, and citizens who care to do such things.

The Diner in Strawn, Texas.

Small town diner signs, with small town flavor.

The Diner Gals:  Nancy Couger and Effie Covey.  One is the owner, and the other is her employee and sister.  We had a nice chat.  Thanks ladies, for what you do.

People who take time to bring color into our world.  (The yellow and blue inside the diner.)

Cheeseburgers, made on a grill while you wait.

Chopped steak that you can cut with a fork, and potato salad handmade with honest-to-goodness mayo.

Bomb Pops on the patio.

Flossie’s Cafe’, with west Texas cowboys standing around outside, shootin’ the bull.

Cool-looking, small-town painted walls.

Country stores with vintage doors.  (Strawn Market, closed this day.)

That you can still buy live bait.

Vines planted in cattle troughs, with rusty buggies parked beside.  (Yes.)

Traveling buddies, willing to put up with the whims of their mothers.

Traveling school rooms.

Thank You, God, for all of these little things.  Thank You, God, for Strawn.


I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers…

Philemon 1:4, NIV



holy experience

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5 Responses to Off the Beaten Path

  1. Now that is a new town for me! We headed to Rockwall yesterday…the downtown is great. I just packed the car and we headed out…of course my description of our trip wouldn’t hold a candle to your wonderful words.
    Praying for everyone this week before the wedding…blessings, give Matt a hug from us!!!

  2. Jo Lynn says:

    Stephanie, I’ve been to Strawn many times and have eaten a good many chicken fried steaks there. I believe that is their specialty! Each time I visit, it makes me wish I had been born 100 years sooner!

    • How cool! The cowboys outside of Flossie’s actually told me that Flossie’s has Mexican food (in addition to steaks), and they jabbed a thumb toward Mary’s, across the street, where they said you should only order one thing: chicken fried steak.

  3. Rene' says:

    Steph, when I saw the picture of Timothy with the Bomb Pop I thought, “I bet Timothy is happy his Mom took the detour to Radiator Springs.”

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