Dining or Writing, it’s all relative

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XqqqqsMe.  Having departed APZ 2012, a fond farewell bade to Jackson Center, the gastronomic nightmare of central Ohio, we arrive in a nearby community for breakfast.  At the risk of violating #’s 1, 2, 3, 5 above, I can’t tell you the restaurant name is

For fifty years, I have avoided any restaurant featuring a female relative, e.g., Ma’s Kitchen, Granny’s Coffee Shop, Three Nieces Nut Shoppe, Sassy Sista’s Subs and Ribs…you get the picture.  At Aunt Millie’s we are welcomed by the day’s luncheon special on the blackboard easel.  “Creamed chipped beef on toast”, which a local diner, obviously out of editor control, had cleverly graffitied in chalk as “S##t  (vulgar synonym for excrement) on a shingle”.

We opted for bacon, eggs, hashbrowns with a side order of Lipitor served by a friendly waitress with cute knees.

Weeks follow and we find ourselves in Rochester , Minnesota.  The event, an annual picnic for transplant recipients.  300+, much like a traditional family reunion; third cousins, twice removed, meeting for the first time.

A warm day, a catered buffet under a large wedding tent, people coagulate into specialty groups; livers, kidneys (often accompanied by their donors), stem cells, and the elite cadaver organs, hearts and lungs.  High intensity medical chit-chat for drug side effects, lab values, clinic visits, and the necrology report of those who didn’t survive. Gift of Life Emcee, Steve Tarara and his assistant call out for photo ops.

Our Lynn (pulmonary fibrosis), second from right in pink and white, silver hair, next to her 35 y/o friend, Sarah (cystic fibrosis) 

And below, the youngest heart for an 11 y/o, a living doll

The only disappointment on the day….not reuniting with my three favorite nuns, Sr. Colleen, Sr. Pat., and Sr. Mary, all of the order of St. Francis, who did not attend.  Their excuse, rather flimsy I might add, was the need to take three of the elder sisters on an anniversary luncheon.  When they could have dined with us, the organists.

Their choice of restaurant, Baker’s Square, which hereafter should be called the “Six Sisters Diner”, so help me God.