So…Sunday afternoon after an almost entire week of nagging, whining and bullying I got Steve to take me to the Landmark for an early dinner. We went there for my Birthday with the family last Saturday and I was so smitten with all the food choices I could actually eat that were gluten and sugar-free that I made Steve take me back last Sunday. The Landmark also has the most delicious decaf coffee. I know that sounds silly but it is so good I am trying to con the chef there into selling me some. Oh, I want some right now. But that’s not what this story is about. Focus, Jenny, focus.
So…about Tuesday I began with subtle hints that I was ready to go there for dinner again. Hmmm… no results. Wednesday was a bit more toward nagging and by Thursday I was pretty much just snarling at my poor husband until finally on Saturday the poor guy figured out what I was trying to tell him. So we went.
I pretended to be surprised and gracious. “What? You want to go to the Landmark for an early dinner? Are you sure? I don’t mind cooking!” all the while throwing on whatever sort of matching shoes I could find and running toward the garage door.
We drove the Jeepster. It was lovely. Steve isn’t supposed to drive with his broken foot, but he did. I wasn’t supposed to let him, but I did. And it was wonderful! The late afternoon light here in Arizona is unbelievable. It is just like light molten gold diffused everywhere. The sky was high and brilliant blue with a few white clouds thrown in to make it perfect. The breeze was sweet and floral scented. Many things are in bloom now and sometimes you feel like you are inside an amazing perfume bottle. And it always seems like everyone waves and says “hi” when you are driving that cool car.
I love the Landmark for several reasons. It reminds me so much of Ohio. It has the same wallpaper in the dining room I used to have in my old farmhouse. It has the same stove in the buffet room that I burned my eyebrows off with a lot of years ago. It has a good menu but a really good salad bar with all kinds of things I can eat AND it has the most scrumptious decaf coffee in the universe.
We were seated close to the front and both the server and the waitress remembered us. Hmmm…. “Weren’t you here last weekend?” Ummm…. “Yes.” “We remember you because you both have the same broken right foot.” Accck. So much for being icognito.
But you know what? This still isn’t what this story is supposed to be about. Focus, Jenny, focus.
So…at the next table there was a tiny little old man and woman. They had to be in their 90’s. I don’t think either one could hear because everyone was talking to them very loudly and they had those sweet quavery voices of the very old. I always want to kidnap them and take them somewhere and listen while they tell me their life stories. So much experience, wisdom and life in people that aged.
They were accompanied by one middle-aged woman and two younger people. The middle-aged woman kept talking to them with great love and saying “Granpa, can I get you some more water?” or “Grandma, do you need your sweater?”
Across the restaurant was another older woman accompanied by a middle-aged man. There was no conversation happening there. It seemed that they spent the meal in silence. It made me sad. When they got up to leave he simply got up and walked to the door leaving the older woman to struggle with her sweater and cane. I wanted to slap him. I wanted to help her. I’m not sure why but, again, I felt very angry about this.
When the other couple got up to leave the granddaughter and the younger people gathered around them to help them with a sweater, to give them a pat and a hug. They exchanged many “I love you’s” and escorted them with respect and dignity to the door. I wanted to hug them all. I wanted to clap.
I told Steve I hope we are the kind of grandparents that our granddaughters will take to dinner one day and help us put our sweaters on. The kind where they still want to visit us. I want it to be like that. I don’t want to be sitting ackwardly across from them watching them count the minutes until it is time to leave. Or to never have even the opportunity to count the minutes because they don’t visit us.
But perhaps I will be senile and I won’t care. Or perhaps I am already senile because I do care.
My coffee was wonderful, my husband was sweet, I ate like a starving truck-driver AND I got a real-life vignette of love and caring.
So…I’m thinking I need to go visit my parents and then would you like to go to lunch with me? I’ll choose where we go! I’ll give you a hint. It starts with the letter “L”.
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