Lunch on impulse

So there I was yesterday, driving to points north for a meeting with another team.  Recent changes in our company have created opportunities for many, including me. But with those opportunities come changes and with those changes come new responsibilities and with those new responsibilities come questions and concerns.  I think most just want to get it right, but we’re moving so fast right now that many are afraid to ask for help.

That’s where this meeting came in.  Talking with another Manager, she referenced the changes to her team and how a responsibility our departments share has raised a lot of questions.

“Is there any way you’d be available to walk us through this sometime?”

“Sure, how about Thursday.”

This is a role that I enjoy most:  mastering a task and helping others master it, too.  It’s not new, I’ve done it my entire career, but sometimes the ability to share like this gets replaced by other tasks at hand.

Windows down, sunshine in my face, I drove past a “Big Boy” restaurant and I felt it. A pinch. I thought of him: Grandpa to the boys, Step-Dad to the hubbs. Father-in-law to me.  Elderly. Widowed.  Alone.

I called and, of course, got his answering machine. No surprise for he’s never answered numbers he doesn’t recognize.  Listening to his stern message scolding solicitors and anyone daring  prey on this ex Military policeman, I chuckled.  I identified myself, told him where I was off to, and that I’d be back in about 2 hours .. just in time for lunch at Big Boy, if he was free, that is.

About 40 minutes later, my phone rang. The tutorial was already underway but I excused myself to take the call, something told me I knew who it was.

“Hi, this is John.  I’m up for lunch – what time?”

Military man – man of few words — direct and to the point. I like that. We worked out the details with me promising to call when I was on my way back.  Arriving at the restaurant first, I couldn’t help but notice all of the other elderly gentlemen dining …. alone.

slim jim

The Big Boy Slim Jim – yum!

In he came, grinning, and big hugs were exchanged.  We laughed a lot, ordered our lunch, and chatted some more.  He told me how they liked to stop here after her Wednesday hair appointments.   He ordered the “Slim Jim” with the comment “it was her favorite.” We talked about the passing of George Jones and how she’d be tapping her toe in Heaven, now that George and Tammy were reunited again.

We talked of my Mom and sister’s upcoming visit and plans for barbeques he’s invited to and, before long, it was time to go. More hugs, more smiles, and I think I heard a whistle as he walked to his truck.

* “Near You” was played at her funeral

A lonely day is God’s way of saying that he wants to spend some quality time with you.” – Criss Jami

Categories: Attitude, Faith, Family, Food, Home, Joy, Life, Love, Men, Personal, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “Lunch on impulse

  1. Oh, MJ, why do your posts always bring tears to my eyes? Good for you, brightening your FIL’s day (and having him brighten yours!).
    Long story, but today, I’m taking an elderly cousin to lunch to celebrate her 90th birthday.
    We don’t have any Big Boy restaurants around here, but I do love a Slim Jim!

    • I swear she was with us. I can’t tell you why I know this b/c I don’t know myself, but I knew he’d order that sandwich b/c she always did. Just knew it.

      Enjoy your lunch with your cousin .. treasured times for sure!


  2. You are so lucky to be able to connect. Made me smile!

  3. Another quality post by MJ. You’re on a roll, girl.

    I thought of you last Saturday. As I was driving home from a game, in a small country town, a catering truck and trailer were ahead of me (the kind you see at auctions and small town parties). The name of this business? MJ’s Katering Kitchen. I just had to try to get a photo of it for you…but cell phone photos didn’t do it any justice and I can just imagine the police accident report if I had rear ended it. Police officer “did you see the accident?” Me…”sure…here’s a photo of me hitting it.” :0

    • Thank you, RR, that means a lot to me.

      I would have loved to have seen the Katering Kitchen truck 🙂 The boys call me ‘Cita … short for Mammacita, a throwback to our days living in Texas. They always ask “what’s cooking in ‘Cita’s Cantina?” I expect to have a little sign made that says just that .. one of these days.


  4. omg what a reunion! You were where you needed to be when you needed to be.
    Although Bill Knapps is no longer…it’s cool to think Big Boy is still around.

    • I agree; the timing was just right. He was so cute when he got there, he sort of rushed in and was a little breathless. Then he said, “well I hope I look ok.” And I said, “Of course you do, why wouldn’t you?” and he replied that his cleaning lady was there and he didn’t get to shower so he just did the best he could — his hair was slicked back, he had a nice shirt on and a little after shave. I appreciated the effort 🙂 MJ

  5. So sweet of you to take time out of a busy work day to spend time with you father-in-law! But that seems in keeping with a generous and open heart…good for you! And good that your FIL had some companionship at that meal! ~ Sheila

    • We had a very nice time and I’m glad I saw the Big Boy sign – that reminded me of both of them … and lunch 🙂 MJ

  6. That is so incredibly sweet of you! Amazing how God plants those little nudges inside to bring about big blessings. Love it.

  7. So generous of you to think of your father-in-law, to be so understanding of his demeanor and to give him and you an opportunity to enjoy each other’s company. I’m sure he considers you to be one of the special people in his life.

    • Thank you; we had a great visit and I believe he feels included … which is sometimes the best feeling there is, yes?


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