BBQ with the Baptists

One of our Staycation activities last week during Spring Break was a trip up to Huntsville to see the Sam Houston Memorial. We always pass it on the way to Dallas and never have time to visit. But first we stopped at the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church for a BBQ lunch.

This place was like something out of a movie. A movie set in 1953, that is. It was a little shack next to the church, with huge BBQ smokers out front, all doing their thing. Once stepping inside, we were welcomed by the aroma of smoked brisket and ribs, sweet tea and buttermilk pie. All served by good, strong Southern Baptists who clearly know a thing or two about red meat.

My first thought as I entered was, “my Dad would have loved this.” He really would have. In his retirement, he made a second career out of driving around Texas sampling the best BBQ joints. Hubby & I once accompanied him and my Mom to Lockhart, TX to Kreuz Market and had a great time watching him eat the famous BBQ with no fork or sauce.

In fact, he had a whole list of places in Texas he wanted to try, and sadly, he didn’t get to complete his mission. New Zion was on his to-do list, so I felt it my duty to carry on his quest. And we were not disappointed in the least.

The most interesting thing about our lunch was how well-behaved the children were, especially Baby Boy. There were no high chairs, so I had to hold Baby Boy on my lap for the duration of the meal. Normally, he would have lasted about 3 minutes before squirming & hollering to get down, so he could ransack the place.

However, on this occasion, he sat in my lap like a perfect angel and ate BBQ with the rest of us. It was like a calm came over him, and he realized he was there on behalf of his namesake (he is named for my father). And he took that very seriously.

It’s caused me to think an awful lot about my Dad this week.
And I realized something about loved ones we’ve lost…they never really leave us, it’s true. I find my Dad in moments like these, and it is a rare and surprising gift.

Just doing things he liked to do, eating foods he liked to eat and visiting places he loved or would have loved, if given the chance. This is how we keep the connection open, the dialogue going, the flame lit.

I walked away from that table at the church feeling like I’d had a fantastic lunch with my dear, old Dad.

And it was so good to catch up.


  1. You made me cry, thank you. Debby

  2. What a great read. This was fantastic.

    And being in Austin, I know of all of those places you listed. Definitely some great BBQ.

    I loved this...thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks, Carrie! And really, it's hard to beat the Salt Lick for BBQ. Yum.

  3. yummy in the new follower ..


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