My birthday has come and gone. I’m grateful that I don’t feel a day older, but maybe tomorrow I will. We began the day with a brisk walk, the brisk referring more to the temperature than the pace. Make no mistake, John can do brisk. He grew up walking in Manhattan where dawdlers do not fare well. We thought of going out to breakfast, but we needed to plan ahead so that we could finish before it was time for David to go to work. It didn’t bother me a bit to cook breakfast on my birthday. I chose my favorite – Egg MacMehrling. It was a takeoff on McDonald’s Egg McMuffin. It was the tailoring that took the time. I had sausage, while the fellows had bacon. David likes limp bacon; John prefers crisp. Their eggs were cooked in the microwave, long enough that they would have bounced if dropped on the floor. Cheddar topped their sandwiches. I had an egg over easy with pepper jack cheese. English muffins were toasted three ways – warmed for David, lightly toasted for John, and browned for me. It’s a wonder we could sit and eat at the same time.
Before we went out to dinner, the guys ducked in two supermarkets looking for the perfect chocolate cake. They succeeded. My first choice, a restaurant in Waynesville, was crowded at 7. We assumed Southerners ate early, but they didn’t when we wanted to eat late. There was another eatery I would have liked, but I couldn’t remember the name of it. We ended up at Clyde’s, a diner-type place near Walmart that we had not tried before. The food was good, though not exciting. It didn’t matter, because I knew there was chocolate fudge cake out in the car. In a way, that pressure was good, because I brought half my dinner home in a box. Did I save enough calories for that decadent cake? Of course not, but it was my birthday.
Breakfast the following day was like a relative once removed. I don’t know exactly what that means in relations, but it means breakfast was moved to the next day. We headed for the Buttered Biscuit, having heard that this breakfast/lunch place was excellent. I had looked at the menu on the computer and had my mouth set for sausage and eggs with a strawberry waffle. We got there and found the windows covered in foil with a repair truck sitting before the front door. Golly! I hadn’t expected that. Thinking quickly, we asked David if it would work for us to eat at Burger King. If he hadn’t wanted to eat in his workplace, we would have thought of something else. He gave it a thumbs up. We all chose the same thing, a very large egg, bacon, sausage, and cheese sandwich. A worker on her break raised her eyebrows when she saw David, and he explained that we were his grandparents. We sat at the table next to her and chatted with her. What a hard-working young lady she was! She quit for the summer to take care of her 10 and 7-year-old brother and sister while their parents worked. With the younger ones in school again, her mother drops her off at Burger King and goes across the street to work at Ingles. I’m not clear how the young woman gets home, but she oversees the children’s homework and cooks dinner for the family. I think we had a rare peek at a family bravely struggling to make ends meet.