"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

16 February 2013

Party Time in Texas, Part 1: Morning Outing

Little B will be two in a few days. 

(How did this happen?! How is my baby almost TWO?!)

Originally, we had planned for N to take the actual day off of work so we could do something special, but it turns out that he has a mandatory training meeting that day.

We decided to make a day of celebration out of today, his birthday party day, instead. Earlier this week, I looked at the weekend forecast, and today was supposed to be cloudy with some chance of rain.
It couldn't have been a more beautiful day.

(I should mention here that not only did B sleep in today, but when he did wake up, instead of calling out for me or N, he sang and recited poems from Kindermusik to himself. For half an hour! We were very entertained listening to him from our room.)

Anyway, back to our outing. When we lived in Saratoga Springs, we would go out to breakfast at The Country Corner Cafe about once a month. We first started going because one of our favorite teens from church worked there as a waitress, but after she left for college, we kept going because it is just one of those happy, friendly, local places. 

N remembered seeing the Allen Cafe in passing, so we decided to check it out today. Their website tag line says, "The best breakfast and lunch in town." I don't know about lunch, but this was a perfect hometown diner experience. Our food was great, our waitress was incredibly nice and very on top of things despite how busy it was, and the general atmosphere of the place was just lovely.

We got into conversation with the family sitting next to us because the dad was wearing a "Navy Dodgeball" t-shirt. Turns out, the shirt was just a funny thing his wife had picked up at a consignment store, but we learned that his dad had served during Vietnam. When they found out that N had served for six years, they both immediately thanked him. It wasn't one of those passing, it's-what-you-do-to-be-polite things. They were very serious and genuine. N said he couldn't remember the last time he had been thanked like that.

After telling us how "seriously very cute" B was, the family left (to go pick up a new puppy!). We began gathering our things when the waitress came by. She pointed to the check that she had brought by earlier and said, "I'll take that." N pulled out his wallet, and she said, "Oh, it's been taken care of. Thanks for serving in the Navy."

We were floored. This stuff only happens in stories, right? I found myself wishing I had paid closer attention to what those people looked like, because if I ever run into them again, I want to tell them how much that meant to us.

With that pretty terrific start, how could the day possibly be anything other than amazing?!
When we got back to the car, B was very intent on getting "tan-nee" (candy) out of the little R2D2 dispenser I put in his stocking at Christmas-time. That candy ran out a long time ago, but B is still determined that there is candy to be found inside.
I had to stop at the bank, which happens to be in one of our local grocery stores, so he got a lollipop instead, as well as a birthday balloon. "Pooh Beh-uh!"
B loves school buses, so on the way home, we stopped by the ninth grade campus and drove down the lane of parked buses before nap time.

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