Photo taken near Monument Valley, Utah

Monday, May 9, 2016

A Short Stop in Jackson

At Springridge RV Park, Clinton, Mississippi...

With only one day in a city the size of Jackson, Mississippi, one can't do much. Since it was Sunday, we visited the magnificent First Baptist Church of Jackson, whose 3,200 seat sanctuary is a sight to behold. We heard a good message celebrating mothers and especially enjoyed the 285-voice choir and the 155-rank pipe organ, one of the 25 largest in the world. For a city that's not all that large, Jackson Baptists take their church seriously:

Across the street in downtown Jackson is the state capitol building, also beautiful in a peaceful setting among treed grounds:

There are lots a friendly folks here in Jackson, and you can expect to be called "hon" and "sweetie" by perfect strangers who, if they hear you have a problem, will say "bless your heart." Having been raised in the South, I've had my heart blessed a lot. These affectations are comforting to me and, for a moment, I forget about things like what a mess has been made of our country. 

I also like to hear grand southern ladies drop the "r" on most words ending in that letter. For example, this is a place where butter is pronounced "buttah." Yet some words that have only one syllable anywhere else are pronounced here with two. For example, "car" is "caw-uh" and "well" is "way-ul." It's as southern as sweet tea, and I love it.

In a slightly negative vein, we were astonished at the state of disrepair of many of the streets and highways here in Jackson and elsewhere in Mississippi. I cannot tell you the number of times Phannie and Mae had to endure the seemingly endless bone-jarring potholes and patches of buckling or deteriorating pavement as we toured the city and state. Why, in Texas, someone would swing from the gallows for such nonsense! In all fairness, Louisiana was about the same; I'm not sure poor Phannie and Mae will ever be the same. 

Allow me to swerve briefly into technical matters: For my friend Craig who was wondering about how well Phannie's new upgraded jacks are working, you should know, Craig, that they are fantastic! We were parked in a heavily-sloped site here in Clinton, and one touch of the button leveled Phannie perfectly in just a few seconds. The upgrade is light years ahead of the old version; Atwood got it right this time. It was well worth the cost, in my opinion.

You knew I would not be able to deny you another restaurant review, didn't you? Well, here we go: After church on Sunday, we stopped at Mr. Chen's, a Chinese restaurant nestled in the corner of an Oriental grocery store in Jackson. Who would have thought that little unassuming place would serve perhaps the best Chinese food we've ever had?!!! I ordered black bean chicken, and Sandy got sizzling beef and vegetables, and both dishes were incredibly well prepared and flavorful.  The subtitle on the Mr. Chen's awning is "Authentic Chinese Cooking," and was it ever. 

Normal people would have taken much of this home for leftovers. We didn't. I'm not proud of it, but that's how good it was. Mr. Chen's definitely goes on the favorite restaurants list behind the link at the top of the home page.

We didn't have time to patronize some other restaurants that had been recommended, but finding Mr. Chen's more than made up for it.

We will be on our way to San Marcos, Texas tomorrow with an overnight stop in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.

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