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Goats from Bob’s Mobile Petting Zoo munch the begonias along the front walk of the brownstone. On the front stoop, kids bottle-feed spring lambs and pet others. Nearby, a saddled pony tosses her blonde mane and waits with her handler for the next rider. Ducks squawk as a neighbor, broom in hand, shoos them from her roses. Rock music and squeals of laughter pour through opened windows, their lace curtains frisked by winds within the froth of play.

It’s Chris’s surprise party for his twelfth birthday.

Inside, multi-colored streamers festoon the walls and fixtures, helium balloons smooch the ceilings, paper plates drip with remains of pizza and ice cream. Upon the dining room table dances the father who organized this after-school party; Chris and his buddies gyrate in tandem with him. In all the rooms more kids wearing party hats jump on sofa cushions and dance.

A sense of concerted play makes complete sense of this apparent mayhem until abruptly ended by the return of the irate mother, an interior design executive. “The party’s over,” says the father, and their shared camaraderie fizzles.

So the 1994 movie, Mrs. Doubtfire, begins.

Had not the mother axed this party, it would have continued into the evening; its momentum, open-ended and spiced with joy, fired imaginations of the participants and blessed them.

Imagine if Mrs. Doubtfire (the father’s later disguise) would throw a similar party on Capitol Hill—It would have to be a surprise.


“Great food is our passion. Sharing it with you is our pleasure.”

Such is the philosophy of the founder of The Daily Bread Bakery and Café, expressed on its website. A locally owned family business for several decades with an ever-changing menu, it presents delectable foods in tantalizing forms. For instance, July’s Annual Blueberry Festival features an array of blueberry concoctions: pies, strudel, cream cheeses, bagel packs, scones, Danish, tarts, and breakfast breads.

A visit to this St. Louis County café validates this philosophy in spades. Once inside the glass door, a vortex of energy engages you. Patrons of all ages and background spill over the simple blonde tables and chairs and booths siding the café, its walls adored with ingredients used in cooking. The cheerful wait-staff, some of high school age wearing black T-shirts with the logo, add to this ambiance. Behind the counter, another team assembles the soups, salads, sandwiches, and oven-bake the pizza orders requested by the hungry.

A sense of deep color and care invigorate those who frequent this special place, in some respects likened to what used to happen in church, at least for me. Another example of how Precious God has become anonymous to feed us.

Such exquisite feeding is found in the prophet, Isaiah 25: 6 – 7 – “On this mountain, Yahweh Sabaoth will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food, a banquet of fine wines, of food rich and juicy …”





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