A was in town for a wedding reception and we decided for an early morning breakfast run. My friends are so good to put up with my early morning tendencies. We decided on a 7 a.m. rendezvous, by which time I'd had my coffee, paper, quiet time, watered the plants and arrived with enough time to buy my sister a gift from the general store at the Barrel (Renee: you may or may not be getting Peanut Brittle in your birthday bag.)
I found that grandchildren accompanying their grandparents to breakfast on this holiday Saturday are not very chipper at such an early hour. I also discovered something very disturbing: some of the clothes they were offering in the gift store are starting to look good to me. And I do not drive an RV or any form of John Deere.
A arrived just in time to make me stop considering the little yellow ensemble with matching jacket, and we headed to our table. I usually pick Cracker Barrel because it is the only place that I order pork products since we don't eat them at home. (Cholesterol, not religious issues.) But, this day, we were good and had oatmeal. And might have shared one piece of sausage. And drank copious amounts of tea. And talked and laughed and cried and planned some fun for the future. (And talked about our KIDS THAT MARRIED EACH OTHER.)
Two hours later, our four-starred server had removed our plates and cut us off from tea refills. We know when it is time to go. (Though we have been known to relocate to another restaurant for lunch and more talking.)
I paused on the front porch and remembered for a moment. The first time I went out with my now-husband was for lunch after church at Cracker Barrel. We had to wait in the rocking chairs on the porch for about an hour. (Because, HELLO, it was Sunday after church.) And he talked and talked. And we went inside and ordered that chicken they only serve on Sundays after church. (But no pork products.) And he talked and talked. All these years later I realize how unusual that was for him. D can be very quiet and very private. But that day? He was an open book. I realize he was trying to seal the deal with me. And he did: I was smitten. And we were married about a year later.
I am thankful that the memories that keep running through my head are happy memories. And my hope is that they will stay forever in my heart.