Tuesday, April 24, 2012

This used to be my playground

Pat's BarThis afternoon just flew by! Cousin Shane picked me up around 1:30, and we headed out for lunch.

Our initial plan was to check out a little place in my hometown of Lakeville, Buffalo Rose. We were walking towards the door when we heard a woman behind us say, “Um...we’re not open.” Bummer! We talked to her for a bit—turned out she is the manager—and I said that their website said they were open. She said they’d have to fix that. They only do Thursday through Sunday now, with limited hours. It was a bust for me and Shane, but that means that Ken and I will get to check it out first. Every time we drive by it, we say, “We need to go there!” (I might be repeating myself here. My apologies, if that’s the case.)

Instead of heading back up to South Bend to hit a chain restaurant, I suggested we head a little farther south to the bustlin’ town of LaPaz, to visit a place that has been there since we were in high school (and probably several years before that), Pat’s Bar. (And no, Pat’s Bar wasn’t my playground…but Lakeville, LaPaz, and the surrounding countryside were.) We recall going there with Shane’s Mom and stepdad for broasted chicken and broasted potatoes, sitting on the family side. Now that we’re big people, we were seated on the bar side. At first, it was just the two of us in a booth and one guy at the bar, but then a couple of tables-worth of older guys came in. (And *gasp*...they were SMOKING! It really kind of grosses me out now.)

We both got burgers, along with one of Shane’s favorites, fried mushrooms. Everything was really tasty! We’ll definitely go back...I know Ken will like it, and I think his Mom would, too. Hard to believe it’s still open after all these years!

Shane and I were talking about how the new US 31 project will affect Lakeville and LaPaz. We wondered if they will turn into ghost towns, or if there will be enough locals and enough people like us who support businesses in those towns. (To be honest, I don’t know if it bodes well for them.) After our lunch, we tooled around our old stomping grounds and checked out the new highway and new overpasses. I was pretty shocked. I’ve only seen the construction that is going on near us, and hadn’t been out to the areas further south to see what all they were doing. It’s so bizarre to see these big overpasses going through farm country! We drove by one of the houses where Shane lived, and by one where our Aunt June and Cousin Greg lived, and we remembered several homes where some of our classmates lived. (It looks like the “haunted house” on Kenilworth Road is long gone, though. I went in it when I was in high school!)

It was kind of an odd feeling to be driving down these roads. We remembered riding our bikes along many of them (sans helmets!). I can’t say that it made me feel sad...it was just different. Things change, and you can either be swept away by the changes or accept them. I suppose that’s easy for ME to say, because the new highway isn’t all that close to our house, as it is for one of Shane’s coworkers...or coming right through our place, as one possible route had it! (Thank you, wetlands in our back yard!) We both agreed that although this area has its problems, it’s a pretty nice place to live. I love going into town for events or dinner, and I love visiting big cities to see all that they have to offer...but at the end of the day, I’m happy to be driving down a country road framed by tall trees and have a guy mowing his lawn wave to me as I drive past. And yes, that really happened today. I asked Shane, “Did he just wave to us?” Shane said yeah, and I said, “Aww!”

By the time we got back to Nutwood, it was going on five o’clock! Hard to believe time went by so quickly, but it was a great time with my super cool cousin. Thanks for a fun afternoon, Shane!


  1. Nice piece of melancholic nostalgia... things change, people change, and time marches on, silently and inexorably as ever...

  2. Glad I will still be able to say "hey, we should check that place out some time"


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