What is a monkeybox?

When I was a little girl, we had a pet monkey named Amanda. My Dad worked in the produce business, so each night he brought home that days culls in a big box - spotty cucumbers, pithy apples, limp celery, moldy oranges and the like. We called it a monkeybox. It was really just trash, but my Mom would take each piece of fruit and trim it, pare it and cut it up to make a beautiful fruit platter for Amanda. Even though it was deemed trash by one, it still had life left in it and was good for the purpose we needed it. That's how I live my life - thrifting, yard saling, looking for another's trash to be my treasure.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Goin' to the Chapel...

Sunday we visited St. Catherine's at Bell Gable. I had always heard of a small privately owned chapel that was around here, but I really never knew where it was specifically. Saturday The Bean and I were driving along on a street that we drive on a few times a week. I looked over into a pasture to the left and saw a Bride having her portrait taken. I remembered the Chapel was in that area, so we went and located it. It was closed for the wedding, so we returned on Sunday. I still can't believe that I have been within a half of a block from it three times a week and I never knew it. We will be going back. It is fantastic.

St. Catherine's was built in twelve years by one man without blueprints, plans or anything written down. He planned it all in his head. He even built the scaffolding and the crane that he needed to build the Chapel. The beams were hand hewn from trees fallen in a storm. He built his own moulds to make the trims and castings.
The stained glass windows and doors came from a church in England. The pews are from Missouri.

In 1997, the builder fell 35 feet to the concrete below while building it. His survival was miraculous.
As we looked around the Chapel, a tourguide came to meet us. As I turned to speak to her, realized that we knew each other. She was one of our favorite teachers at the school. As she told us about the Chapel, I asked her how she came to work there. She laughed and told me that her Daddy built it. All the times I talked to her before, I never knew that.
She told us more about the Chapel and how it came to be. It was a special place to visit.
So calm and serene. And, even though it was really hot, it was nice and cool down in the valley around the Chapel.
The entire Chapel only seats 40 people. It is difficult to tell in the photos that it is small. When they have weddings, they put chairs on the lawn out front and open the wide double doors into the Chapel. An open car brings the bride to the Chapel. It must be magical!

I never, ever talk about dying. But, I told the boys I wanted my Memorial Service to be held there. I won't ever mention it again.
If you ever come to visit me, I will take you to the Chapel.
You will love it.
(Yes, I will take you to the Super Cheap thrift too).


  1. It's these little 'surprises' while out 'hunting junk' that keep the journey so sweet!! Thanks for sharing - the details are BEAUTIFUL!!

  2. How beautiful! That looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale.

  3. There are other more pleasant ways for you to utilize this darling chapel, like renewing your marital vows there, and/or telling your son it would be really nice if he got married there. That way you'll be there in body as well as spirit!

  4. What a sweet little place! Definitely looks like a fairy tale.

  5. PocketChange11:19 PM

    Beautiful little chapel in the valley; I bet the inside is just as beautiful as the outside. And, you bet, if I visit, we're going to the Super Cheap Thrift and the chapel afterwards to thank God for our cool finds!

  6. Kelly E4:08 PM

    I attended a wedding there about 6 years ago and it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. The wedding was just like a fairy tale with the bride riding up to the chapel in a horse drawn carriage. So beautiful. I want to go back there and see it again while I am up there visiting family.

  7. Looks like it came right out of a fairy tale! Love it, Love it!!!


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