Love of Food
I associate food with being a very social activity that can bring many different walks of people that wouldn’t normally be in the same room for a common goal. To eat. Nourish the soul with talk and edible goodies.
My career was in the restaurant field. I did it all. Small lie…I maybe did some cooking during management training. My brain malfunctions trying to remember amounts of this or that so I’m constantly looking at every line of a recipe. Many times. Many, many, many times. When I go rogue and try to ad lib, it’s not always a fantastic moment in my kitchen. But that story is for a different day.
If you open yourself to it, new friendships you don’t expect to have can happen. Never knowing how special someone is and their story is too sad a tale.
Some senses rewind the memory reel of my life
I’m an instant sucker for anyone who makes me think of my grandparents. INSTANT. It always starts up a vivid memory reel in my mind of different wonderful times with my grandparents on my mothers side.
I gravitated toward a older couple who loved coming in for lunch during their trips into town to this or that doctor or whatever errand was needed for them to get out. They sat at our specialty table that was located right in the kitchen, making it that much easier to keep the conversation going during a busy lunch shift. After enough interactions, I joked with them I was now an unofficial member of the family.
My life changed and everything about them caused me to emotionally latch on when they came in. Losing my grandfather was unexpected. Unexpected as in, thinking that he could live forever and not ever facing the reality of life’s end, I struggled with his loss. My first day back at work after my grandfather’s death, the couple had come in. We hugged hello, well past the formality of “Table for 2?”, and proceeded to their favorite spot to sit. Man, I needed that hug.
Listening to her fuss over his proud but humble demeanor when he got himself settled and saying hello to this or that employee were parts of the reasons we all came to fall in love with them as much I did. His wife always made me chuckle when she would roll her eyes at another one of his stories he shared with us.
Some days she kept quiet and listened in on a story for the zillionth time, and some days she let him know. Their granddaughter married a man all with the help of the ampersand. My favorite story no matter how many times he told it. I needed that kind of romanticalness to remind me of love found, having gone through a divorce,
My Friend, the Veteran.
His pride runs deep for this country and all military service members. Being a former Marine in the Korean War , he knows the sacrifice men and women make when they join to become a part of that world. I’ll admit, my knowledge of the Korean War was zilch and because I wanted to understand him and what happened, I googled what I could to understand better about our American History. I would ask what I could, probably because I had never tapped into this part of that life with my grandfather who was an WWII Army Veteran and hardly talked about it other than light heartedly joking he had many lady friends to fire up my grandmother.
He speaks when he can amongst certain communities to talk about what happened during and after the Korean War. I will always appreciate the little light he lit for me to tap into this part of the book of our country I really never read that he lived.
Grateful for the people I meet in my life.
When I dated and then married my husband who is in the Army, they were happy for me. (Even though he was a marine, he still approved). And suddenly, they became a resource of what life could be like. His wife and I chatted about some of the challenges and successes they’ve experienced with their time in the military. Whatever we could pack into their time at lunch with us, we did.
I remember excitedly introducing them to “the love of my life” who they knew by all our conversations, when we ran into them at the mall. Watching this 80 something year old man, my unexpected friend, shooting the military bleep with a 30 year something active duty man, my new husband, while the wives looked on made my heart smile.
This will be us, one day….me and my Army husband. Sitting here, many years later, grumbling, loving, listening, not listening. But together, supportive of what each as done for the other. She, a military spouse, supporting her husband through deployments and service and he, a man who loves and fought for his country.
To all who serve, thank you for your service!