Saturday, December 27, 2008

Manger Meal

Deciding at the last minute to head to Georgia for Christmas, we left Rochester Christmas morning. At least Kyle got to see his first White Christmas as we drove through lake effect on our way toward Cleveland.

It soon became apparent that food would be an issue. The last open fast food we saw was in Erie, PA. One lonely Whopper® stand. For the rest of our annua pilgrimage it was Slim Jim's and jerky for protein. Or usual stop for Chili 4 ways and the coney 8 pack in Cincinnati left us without a Gold Star on the skyline to guide us.

After 10 hours of driving, hope appeared. Floating above carbon arc lit oases appear the 11 letters that brought back memories of late night munchies. Could they be open 24 hours on Christmas Day? We hoped not to find the answer to the unanswered question, "Why are there locks on the door of the Waffle House?"

They were indeed open, and at the expense of the poor souls that worked their we we rejoiced.

We packed ourselves and our animals into the $34.95 Motel 6. It was not a barn or manger. It was the closest we had been to sleeping in one though. Kyle emerged from the shower asking when he had gotten a tetanus shot as I drove to the local home of scatter, chopped, smothered, and covered. I was to get a triple order with a big slice of Country Ham (or hammed salt). Kyle wanted cheeseburger and fries. Once settled in at the counter chili and sweet-tea were added to the order.

No cattle were lowing, but the crowd brought a new meaning to diversity all in a straight white context. It was packed, behind and in front of the counter as busy servers and cooks in black and gray slipped past one another.

Not an unpleasant sound was heard, even as many waited 30 minutes for a 40 cup coffee maker of sweet tea to be brewed. It took an hour to pull it all together but, I only saw one waitress who was close to cranky. The miracle of Christmas. A meal of locked and loaded reflux in our tummies and snuggled in a bed in Richmond, KY with Koda and Pookie. As we drifted off we knew that the scattered drops of red on the floor of the bathroom had to nail polish. It had to be.

Merry Christmas.

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