Yesterday got away from me.
I’d left the house at about 9 am, heading north to Beth’s to order a turkey. I was probably about 45 minutes from home when I got a call, and I could see that it was JoHn.
Just… that feeling.
Sure enough, Granny was feeling ‘not herself’. We’ve been dealing with some ongoing medical stuff with her since this past summer and we head on in to the doc’s or ER – whichever makes the most sense – when this happens.
I turned around and headed back toward JoHn, who was going to drive toward me with Granny in tow (don’t worry, she would be beside him in the car (not actually towed)).
Spoiler alert, for your kind head and heart: Everything is fine, tests to be done that were already planned weeks ago, we’re just doing them now (You know, since we’re hanging out in the hospital and all).
But like any day where you have to be on your game to gather and process and explain and synthesize, and then explain and process and synthesize and gather, and then synthesize and explain and gather and process… and then do it all again with a dash of competence and a quart of empathy…. and also there was some waiting because, you know, ER…
Anyway, it was a bit of a workout.
We met with some pretty good humans who also happen to be doctors and, at about 8:30-ish at night, JoHn and I headed out so Granny could watch her show about some hole up on Oak Island in Canada that is supposed to have treasure but keeps yielding smelly wood instead (as far as we can tell).
I made sure I understood what time rounds might be in the morning so I didn’t miss anyone. I have a very important job as a second pair of ears, after all. And, I don’t want to brag or anything, but I’m a very good note taker, offering side orders of jokes and medical puns (I’m just sayin’). So I set my alarm for 6 am as we were leaving.
I was toast.
Yep. Walking zombie toast.
JoHn asked me what I wanted to eat, saying he’d bought some food he could make at home.
I almost ate him.
I explained that we were about 45 minutes from home and, since I’d not had a thing since 6 the night before, that wasn’t going to work.
JoHn said the word I needed to hear, which was ‘pizza’.
So we drove and drove and, just as we were getting close to the Boothbay House of Pizza, I noticed that JoHn Dingle did not put on his blinker to turn into the parking lot he just drove right by!
The Boothbay House of Pizza was dark.
Well this was not good, because the woman and her child getting into the car just across the street at Hannaford’s looked a little like fried chicken.
But I followed JoHn anyway, hoping he had a plan, and then he pulled up to The Thistle Inn.
Now. The Thistle is one of my faves (I really love it), but it was already 8:55 and – on a Tuesday night in the off-season – the Thistle’s restaurant closes at 9 latest.
JoHn came up to my door and – reading my ‘we-can-NOT-go-in-there-it-is pretty-much-9:00-and-it’s-not-okay-to-make-them-serve-us-at-closing!’ stare accurately – he said quickly (in a nice and soothing voice) “It’s okay. I called ahead and talked to Melissa and she said to just come.”
I relaxed a little, but made him go in first anyway in case someone threw something at him and told him to go home.
But they didn’t.
Melissa, whom I’d met only once before, greeted us at the door and welcomed us in. She saw my look, and took in JoHn’s earnest ‘Thank you so much-es’ and smiled and said things like “It’s fine” and “It’s really no problem, honestly.”
We slid into our favorite booth by the bar of this former sea captain’s home, turned inn and restaurant, that has stood in its place since 1860. The low ceilings and old wood felt like a cocoon.
There was one other patron there, talking quietly with Melissa when she passed by and behind the bar.
Melissa brought us two glasses of wine, and some fresh, soft bread.
That was followed by meats and cheeses and then one of our faves, a half lobster (lazy style) on lemon risotto.
It really did feel like a little bit of heaven.
We took Melissa at her word (she said not to rush), and lingered just a bit. She had her playlist on, a phenomenal blend of great versions of classic songs. At one point, Led Zeppelin’s soft, meandering Going to California wafted over the air, and I whisper-exclaimed, “No one ever plays the live version!”.
The day had been a bit of a lot, and this meal was tipping it back toward balanced.
And then… well.
Melissa suddenly burst through the door, literally jumping for joy and exclaiming, “It’s snowing!”
I knew it.
I knew I smelled it coming.
I leapt out of the booth and ran outside with her, the crazy of the day left behind in a different world… one not yet blessed with its first snow of the season.
Teeny tiny ice-cold crystals dropped gently from an endless black sky.
We both returned inside with smiles and urgings to JoHn, the folks behind the bar, and the nice fella sitting at it…
Melissa darted out back and urged the kitchen staff to come out and see.
At one point, she and I were twirling side by side in the soft light by the Thistle’s front door… arms outstretched and faces to the sky.
The first snow.
And just then, my inner needle measuring the day moved beyond balanced…
To pretty dang okay.
Thanks for readin’.
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