XoXo suspended 93 ft.


Valentine’s Day, was  an adventure. It was a beautiful sunny warm day for February; my mind was in a wonderful place. My destination was the Chain of Rocks Bridge which spans the Mississippi River. The bridge was built-in 1929 which used to carry U.S. Route 66. Its notable feature is a 22-degree bend occurring at the middle of the crossing. The bridges name comes from a large shoal, or rocky rapids called the Chain of Rocks, which made that stretch of the Mississippi extremely dangerous .The bridge was added to the National Register of Historic places in 2006.

As I started my walk on the bridge, camera bag, cell phone, keys, it was as still as a summer’s night. Almost to the bridges bend, I stopped to set my message in a bottle on one of the steel support beams, to take my photo before tossing it into the cold icy rapids. When looking through my view finder, a gentle breeze blows through my senses. In a split second, there goes my bottle, as if in slow motion starting to gracefully fall to my left. As I reached out to catch it, it was gone. My heart must have skipped a beat, I wasn’t ready! Peering over the bridges edge, I couldn’t see it in the water, then I saw a slight glimmer below, it was resting on one of the 82-year-old support beams, like it basking in the warmth of the midday’s sun.

I leaned over the steel railing as far as I could, it was too far out of reach, now what was I going to do. It reminded of my life this past year, so many twist and turns, I had fallen one too many times. I thought about climbing over the railing, but how would I get back up? So I set out to the other end of the bridge to find something I could use. I rummaged around, finding a cane shaped sick about 5’9 inches in length, so once again, back to the middle of that mile long bridge. Counting the support beams to find my message in a bottle, suspended 93 feet above the water. Like an old forgotten song, once again leaning over the sides and my stick is just about 12 inches too short. Now I’m thinking this only happens in the movies, I have just walked almost 2 miles.

Refusing to give up, I have to find a something longer, I cannot let my heart stay suspended 93 feet above the Mississippi, and this is something I have planned to celebrate 1 year to the day of my blog.  Totally worn out, I find my way back to the end of the bridge,  where I first started, I have to find something longer, I have to get my bottle into the water. Well I found a huge branch off a downed tree and was able to drag, yes drag the branch back to the middle again. “ Yes “ It worked, it was long enough to push my “Xoxo in a bottle “over the edge. After 3 miles and 2 hours, I watched it float down in rapid Mississippi, glistening in the midday sun. My heart smiled as I pondered, I wonder how far it will travel, who will find it!

What a day, it reminds me that no matter what life throws at you, never give up. There is always a way, it may not turn out as you planned, but with patience and persistence you will win and your heart will smile once more.


May your love message always penetrate your heart, no matter how you receive it……… Xoxo


Dani Thornton Stock ~ Cashmereheart

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