Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Dinner

Tomorrow we're going to the Cracker Barrel with our neighbor friend Doug for Thanksgiving Dinner. It will be the second time I can remember ever eating Thanksgiving Dinner in a restaurant. This time we're doing it because the expense of the big meal we want doesn't make sense when we're preparing for a trip to California for John to work at the Naval Base. The leftovers wouldn't be properly enjoyed. Also, a turkey for two isn't very cost efficient, and that's what we want. 

The last time we headed out to a restaurant for Thanksgiving Dinner, Jeremy had just turned three. I'm not sure why we decided to go out that year. Mentally calling roll, I remember Mom was alone, still a widow. Ellen and her John, with their two boys had John's parents with them. My John and I only had two sons then, and I believe Edith, our best family friend ever, was also with us. All together there must have been at least a dozen around that long table. Jeremy was the youngest, and very excited to be in a very good restaurant.

For some reason the waiter started right next to Jeremy and proceeded around the table, away from him. Not particularly used to being last—or being ignored—Jeremy began quietly enough. 

"I'd like a salad, mister."

"Be quiet, Jeremy. He'll get to you. Here, have a cracker," or some such motherly platitude would slip from my mouth after each each person was waited on, and Jeremy made a somewhat louder request for a salad. The young waiter never once looked at the boy. He never smiled or in any way broke that professional polish that comes from serving many years in a quality establishment.

After working his way around the table to it's final small occupant, he looked down and said solemnly, "Master Jeremy, would you care for a salad?"

Jeremy looked astonished. "Yes, please. How do you know my name?"

The gentleman looked very serious and said, "You just look like a Jeremy to me." Then he tempted him to order more than salad, which was more than I had been able to do. He got a very nice tip. More important to me, he helped make a memory, and was never forgotten.

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