Journey 143: Chillin’ at Chili’s


After a pleasant and lengthy visit with Greg’s dad in Decatur, AR today, Greg and I hopped over to Rogers, AR to browse in a Barnes & Noble. We enjoy this bookstore and Joplin doesn’t have one. Today, however, we were passing time as we waited for two awesome people to join us for dinner at a nearby restaurant.  

It has been fun having Greg’s cousin Pam and her husband Jay living in NW Arkansas. In the past year, especially,  we’ve had opportunity to get together often, and it is always fun. 


This evening we sat down to share a meal at another place that Joplin doesn’t have…yet…a Chili’s Grill & Bar. Featuring Tex-Mex food, this restaurant is a casual dining franchise based out of Texas. The food and service were excellent. 

It was the company that was most excellent though.  I enjoyed catching up with Pam and Jay. We chatted about work and our families, laughed as we shared stories, debated over dinner selections. Pam stayed with her traditional favorite…chicken strips. The rest of us dined on chicken enchiladas with sour cream sauce, lime rice and black beans. Delicious and huge portions. 

It was a great evening, eating together, before Greg and I headed back to Joplin. I really appreciate Pam. I’ve known her since I was a teenager, and she’s not only a friend…I consider her family too. She’s fun with a great sense of humor and shows kindness, concern and compassion toward others.  I’ve only known Jay for a short time, but his quiet steadfastness complements Pam perfectly, and he too has a great heart, open and accepting toward others. 

For Greg, whose only sibling, Ray, passed 13 years ago, Pam is like the sister he never had. With only his father remaining, in his original familial group, it has been important for Greg to reconnect with his cousins: Pam, her sister Linda and brothers Mark and Tim, and their children and grandchildren. Family is important. Family is vital. There’s not only a shared heritage but shared stories and a shared past as well. 

It’s a bonus when you all like each other and enjoy spending time together! Here’s to many more lunches, dinners and opportunities to hang out. 


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