I don’t know why but the expression ‘I’ve been blessed’ has always bothered me. It has nothing to do with religion—I would consider myself quasi-religious. (I definitely want a priest at my death bed, you know, just in case.) But it seems when you say you’re blessed, the implication is the other person isn’t. It’s like you got the lottery scratcher ticket market BLESSED. So why this existential crisis of feeling blessed? Lately it is because I’ve been thinking about my friends. In other words, I’m blessed. So, today, I want you to meet three. All three make the world a better place, but in different ways.

Connie and Dan Burkhardt love the great outdoors, specifically Missouri River country, and as you may recall, I like my nature best behind a glass barrier. They recently purchased and rehabbed a country store located in Peers, Missouri, and I promised to get out there one weekend. The store, right on the Katy Trail, provides a great stop for bikers and hikers to take a break and listen to some live music before continuing on the trail. For me, the idea of shopping took the edge off of being immersed in nature, so I was in.

I imagine all of us of a certain age had mom-and-pop shops in our neighborhoods that carried our favorite snacks and knickknacks, and that’s what the Peers Store has. It also features some beautiful art from Missouri artists that will make you appreciate the talent you don’t have. After spending time in the store, I ended up on the front porch listening to music and just staring out over the Missouri River Valley. Hmm … it’s very unlike me to expose myself to birds and such.

But I enjoyed the day so much, I am going back Oct. 23 from noon to 4 p.m. for the first-ever Peers to Treloar Party hosted by Connie and Dan, Magnificent Missouri and The Katy Land Trust. To get to Peers, follow Hwy. 94 along the Katy Trail through Defiance and Augusta, and in about an hour, just outside of Marthasville, you’re there. You can walk, bike or take a tram the 3 miles between Peers and Treloar. You will want to hit both places, since Treloar has the brats and Peers has the ice cream (but both have music). I can’t imagine a better way to see beautiful countryside so close to St. Louis, and also meet people who actually will admit to being my friends.

My other friend making the world a better place is Andrea Levoff. I wish she’d been around when I was raising my kids. True, children are blessings, but not each and every ridiculous thing they do. When I was a young mom, we just weren’t encouraged to tell people we wanted to run away from home when our kids were driving us crazy. I could have used some irreverence during my kids’ younger years, the kind Andrea espouses on her new web series, ‘Dope Ass Mom’ (on You Tube or andrealevoff.com). Watch it. It may not be for everyone, but let me just say, it’s a blessing.

Contact Patty at phannum@townandstyle.com.