Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Almost Felt Like MY Birthday

Yesterday was Barb's boss and the owner of the wonderful restaurant I work for. Her husband "Thinks" he is the boss but we all know better (I think deep down he knows too.) She took a much deserved two days off and flew home to Maryland to spend time with her oldest son. Barb has three sons...the oldest two are from a previous marriage but Len has been their step dad since they were little boys. Much like me with TJ...I have been his step mom since he was four and have known and loved him him longer than I have either one of my other two kids..."Blood is just a relative term" (pun intended.) My husband made the comment the other day how Barb and Len are living the American Dream, and they really are. They work long hard hours day after day after day. The reward is they own their own business , are their own boss and don't have anyone telling them how to do things or breathe down their neck from a corporate office. Barb is a piece of work herself. She can pinch a penny until it screams. She watches every dime and nickel coming in and going out of that restaurant (I think that may be why Len loves her so much.) When you first start working there she'll let you make yourself a drink in one of the Styrofoam 'to go' cups. After that shift you have to bring your own cup in to drink out of while you work or give her a quarter for another Styrofoam cup..."They don't grow on trees" she'll say. She recycles everything in the place...even the scraps. She has a bucket by the dish pit she makes everyone put leftover food in. She takes the left over bread home to feed birds in her back yard. The seafood left overs are for her cat and the strays that have heard about her through the "CatVine." Her house backs up to woods and she feeds the deer and foxes the meat scraps. She says "Mr. Squirrel especially loves french fries." I was out of my mind busy at lunch last week when I dashed into the dish area to dump my dishes and didn't put anything in her bucket. She snatched the last dish from my hand and sternly said "You're going to HAVE to do a better job of remembering my little animal friends!" (I am NOT making this up) She was gone for two days and no one set up her bucket or saved any scraps at all. We all laughed to Len the second day that he would probably go to sleep and hear the animals pounding at his back door demanding their dinner...or get on his Triumph in the morning to come to work and be attacked like Tippy Hedron in "The Birds." She saves the coffee grounds and tea grounds for her garden. Len says she is a borderline "Hoarder." We all agreed at work today. If you need something and ask Barb if she knows where you can find one can be the most random item in the world, she will say "I have four of them, I'll bring them in and you can choose one." This morning when I went into work there was a man at the front door (we weren't even open yet.) Len started flipping ..."There's someone at the front door and no one to let him in. Come on, Let's GO!" Len would let people in at 8:00 in the morning if they were there to buy something. (that's why Barb loves HIM.) It was a delivery man from the florist. He brought in a huge bouquet of flowers and placed them on the bar. It had a card for Barb on it, Len came pouncing out of the kitchen to see if we had turned away a customer and saw the flowers. He read the said "Happy Birthday from your first born." Len took a pen and drew a line through "First born" and wrote "Second husband." He even went the extra mile and got Barb the perfect present! He was in the office and showed me her present... a birthday card. He hadn't written anything on the envelope and said he didn't write anything or sign it on the inside. He just put a lottery ticket in it. She could hit it big...and if she didn't, had a card that she could recycle and use for someone else! Dang, I love this dysfunctional and absolutely wonderful family that I work for! Went back into work tonight and banked off of two tables. One was a family of six there to celebrate a birthday as well. They loved my "Performance" and gave me a $45 tip. A couple that read my blog came in to eat with me as well. I told them "If you mention my blog you get a free app or a free dessert." They went with the appetizer. Len was on the line cooking when I said "Two of my blog readers are here, it's their first time." Len said "Ask them what took so long?" I decided to buy them a dessert but Len took that off the bill as well. Seems like Len knows about Karma too! They spoiled me rotten with a 100% tip. Now I can pay on Massey's Guard dues again and sock away some for the house note. My husband is still stressing...Let 'em (makes him help me out around the house more.) I KNOW that all will be okay. I have a great job that I love. He has a job he hates but a job that can eventually turn into one WORTH to be him.(Thanks baby) At least I married a man willing to do anything for his family. He's just happy to be working. He may not be happy doing it but is happy that he once again has the chance to hate a JOB! This past weekend we celebrated my Aunt's 80th birthday as well at Mama Lucia's. All the female cousins met to eat ... talk about old times, current times and relive our childhood memories over a bottle of wonderful red wine Barb picked out. Len made an awesome cannoli cake and it reminded me once again how lucky I am to come from such a wonderful family. Today reminded me that family extends way past blood lines. I am lucky. I am lucky to be saying that I am lucky! I am lucky to still be here. I am lucky family, friends and strangers love me. I am lucky that I am almost to the point of being able to BEGIN paying people back. I am lucky they have all waited patiently for that to happen. I AM, I AM BLESSED! Til next time........COTTON!

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