Wednesday, March 9, 2011


After a couple of weeks where the best things got was "bearable," and the worst was nearly …not, I seem to have arrived in a better place. Actually, it's more like the better place arrived on ME. I certainly haven't done anything special. I just feel like the Universe has dumped a ladle of grace over my head.

Sunday, we catered a 60th-anniversary party at the restaurant. I had taken the reservation back in January, SO against my will. The holidays were over, Valentine's Day was soon to be a memory, and I had my mind on grabbing a scalpel and beginning to cut, carefully, one by one, the physical and emotional ties binding me to the café. Trying to get as much of that separation accomplished and possibly even on the way to healing before the actual event. I did not want that process interrupted by the care and attention it takes to pull off one of these big parties.

But as much as I wanted to, I could not manufacture a good reason to turn it down. It was nothing we couldn't DO, and why not bank a few more dollars before the end? So we took the gig, and I filed it into the back of my mind, determined not to worry about it. Fat chance. Though Valentine's Day took Stress Out Priority over it, I know the anxiety of this event has been simmering on the front burner ever since the morning of February 15th.

Well, it's over now. And it was a great success. Mostly because the people were probably the nicest group of folks I have ever met in my life. That in itself was a bucketful of grace. I have so given up on the public. Daily, I am smacked in the face with how selfish, demanding, high maintenance and just plain rude the American consumer has become. To have the restaurant full to bursting with people who were just NICE, was a blessing, almost a cleansing. It literally drove away the dark cloud that has hung over me and my restaurant for so long. I could not be more grateful for that.

Monday afternoon, I stopped at the café (it was supposed to be my R & R day after the big party) and ended up having to work an hour to help them out of a jam. I took a lady's food out to her and she said to me, "I have to tell you, you do such a good job decorating this place. It just looks great…" What? Someone was actually saying something nice to me? I couldn't really believe my ears. "Well, thank you!" I managed to sputter through my shock. But she went on:

"I'm so glad you guys are doing well. We really need a place like this around here…"

I thanked her again, a thank-you tinged with the slightest mixture of guilt and "too late!" The thought occurred to me that it would be very nice indeed if I could feel like I was leaving the café somewhere near the top of my game, rather than slinking away in disgrace with my tail between my legs.

And then, yesterday, I had two squirrels in my back yard. And I went shopping and found some cute clothes for the body I have now (losing those lately-attained stress pounds can wait a few more months—until I'm safely on the other side of this transition.)

All in all, a more than satisfactory first couple of days…of the rest of my life.


  1. It's good to know that there are still some great people out there that haven't been drowned out by the other crazies. Candles are doing their thing.

  2. I'm so glad you had this day. And these people. I hope you will have many more as you coast down to the café closing date. And I'm wondering about your plans for a retreat somewhere - have you made any decisions about this?