Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas At Denny's

by Pa Rock

It's hard to be overly festive on the holidays when one is celebrating alone, but I have managed to keep myself amused all day. Over the past twenty-four hours each of my children and grandchildren have phoned in to check on their desert rat dad, and I have called my Dad to see how his holiday is going is going. My sister and niece were at his house when I called, and he had had several visitors.

The first order of business this morning was to open the present sent by my good friend from college, Carla Turnbough Brown. It arrived a week ago, and Ms. Carla had been quite specific that it wasn't to be opened until Christmas. The present was a beautiful glass Christmas tree ornament of our old alma mater, Southwest Missouri State of Springfield, MO. (Don't try to find it on a map, it is now Missouri State University.) Carla and I talked quite a while on the phone discussing Christmas ornaments, college days, our kids, and our upcoming trip to New York City in January. (It will be the first time that we have seen each other in nearly forty years!)

My next project was to re-pot some cactus and clean up some of the mess on my balcony. Cactus, of course, can stay out year-round in Arizona. I didn't get completely done with that project, but I did make noticeable progress. I also started cleaning out closets. I would like to get rid of all of my piles by the time this weekend is over.

After the cleaning spurt subsided, I got in the car and drove off looking for a movie or a place to eat Christmas lunch. Lunch happened first when I discovered that the local Denny's was open - and packed! I sat at the counter and ordered one of their Damned Slams - 4,000 calories when 400 would have been sufficient! From my stool I was able to see the entire kitchen operation where six cooks spun around and weaved in and out of each other's work spaces with the skill and determination of ballet stars. It was kind of watching Holiday on Ice, much better than television! There must have been fifteen waiters and waitresses doing their dance across the restaurant. I only saw two plates dropped, and one of those was the fault of the manager. The most amazing aspect of this experience was how well everyone seemed to be working together, and how happy they all appeared to be. I guess if you have to work on Christmas, you might as well get jolly! I tipped very well!

This afternoon I went to the gym - to work off some of that Damned Slam. Tonight I have a ticket to see Doubt, so by tomorrow I should be raging about pedophile priests and hateful nuns!

Feliz Navidad!

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