Wednesday, February 2, 2011


   . . . but the vegetables are still out front . . . February 1

I'm driving home from French class. It's nighttime (well, 8:50 but this is country), the lights inside are out, the parking lot is empty.  But the neat array of fruits and vegetables glows under soft lighting like a warm beacon in the 30° nighttime after a long moonless drive.

What gives? Why haven't the rolling display racks been tucked inside the store?

Speaking of food . . .  Last Tuesday's experience with the unordered cheese and whipped cream, and the long black hair fast-food meal before French class, did not scare me off.  But there was a long break between my car lube and the class, and Denny's has usually been quiet as a tomb on Tuesdays, a good place to linger in a booth and catch up last minute with my French homework.

I blew through the calorie ceiling last week with the hamburger with cheese and a chocolate shake -- bad enough on its own -- with whipped cream. I pledged moderation to myself tonight, until the "Breakfast served 24 hours a day" menu was plopped down on the top and I saw blueberry pancakes. Not just blueberry pancakes, but a Grand Slam. I adore blueberry pancakes. How healthy is that? The pancakes were whole grain, the bacon was turkey bacon, the eggs were, well, eggs, there was a bowl of fresh fruit, and non-stop coffee. Nothing could be wrong with this. Could it?

If only I hadn't already had lunch out with Soroptimist.

There weren't many people in Denny's when I sat down, but as early as the hour was, people began to arrive, among the first a family with a baby and young child. Baby was not happy and promptly began with the fretful protest noises, just short of crying, squeals, crying, and babbling. I know. I sympathize with the parents, but there went my quiet study space. The sibling, approximately the minimum age older than the baby, responded to all the baby's vocalizations with a cheerful babble of his own.

The waitress, bless her heart, was on her 5th day, flustered by the electronic cash register and apparently at the end of her shift as she scurried to help out with the increasing clientele, rather than leave the manager alone to manage and wait tables. I asked her if she'd waitressed before. "A hundred years ago," she responded. We were chatting there with the manager in front of the balky cash register. I said I bet she knew how to make change. "Yeah, I hate it that the machine tells me how much to give back," she opined. I began to speculate on back stories for her . . . what happened in her life that brought her to waitressing at this time.  Loss of job? widowhood? divorce? money for extras for the family? Although surely any children would be grown. I didn't ask on first acquaintance.

Playing this day backward, to return to Soroptimist . . . Our usual venue, a small hotel in our little town, suffered a broken water pipe and had to cancel us for lunch, but some resourceful members got us just a partition away from the Rotary meeting in our local nice eatery. And we may have cadged some of Rotary's food.  ;-)

If you're not familiar with Soroptimist, its MISSION is to improve the lives of women and girls in local communities and throughout the world. I do the newsletter for our local group. Primary communication among members is by email, so the newsletter mostly documents past events . . . it's big on pictures. But we have such an exiting and full calendar of events coming up, I called for articles to put an edition out now, announcing all these fine things in one place.

My first newsletter was the Cozy Corner News. Reporter, editor, typist (carbon paper and 5 onionskin copies, typed twice for my customers -- news about and for the neighbors. I was about 12 at the time.

This is the Tuesday post.  Couldn't connect with the internet last night.

See you tomorrow.


  1. So glad you defined Soroptimist for me, but must ask about long black hair dinner. You do such a good job of staying connected with your community.

  2. On fast food Tuesday last week, I'd told them "no cheese" on the hamburger and "no whipped cream" with the shake. I hadn't specifically declined a black hair, but one was included within the paper wrapping the hamburger. Happily, it was only in the paper and not touching the food.