It was a Facebook post Saturday morning that started the adventure.
Some friends are building a home in northern Missouri and had discovered a little country church nearby. They were having a Sweetheart Dinner that night – would we like to come?
Lured by the thoughts of prime rib with all the fixings, followed by an evening of gospel music – it was an easy sell.
Jan and I drove the winding country roads of southern Iowa into the alphabetical maze of back roads the makes up northern Missouri as the sun was setting over beautiful snow covered fields.
It was so peaceful.
We found the church nestled in the hills surrounded by rolling pastures, just as it had been for the last 150 years.
This faithful congregation had been serving up a free prime rib meal and gospel music to the community every February for more than a decade.
They greeted us warmly – wayfaring strangers that we were. The conversation was lively. The company fun.
And the food! Oh my! The food was abundant, delicious, and homemade – a hunk of prime rib that covered half my plate, potatoes, salad, crescent rolls, green beans and bacon, and a table full of desserts.
Then the music began.
It was nothing professional – just some friends who played really well. A man on the banjo with his eighty something year old momma on the bass and his buddy on the guitar.
Joking. Laughing. Strumming. Singing.
It was comfortable – like being invited into someone’s living room for some music.
Gospel songs. Mountain melodies. Old Hymns.
The melodies rang out of the old church on the frosty February night.
And we were a part of it.
When the music ended – we reluctantly said our good-byes and started the 45 minute drive home, navigating those same winding roads under the light of full moon.
The snow sparkled as we held hands, the music still ringing in our ears.
And my heart smiled.