Dear Folks, Tammy (daughter-in-law) and I were on our way to a birthday bash for my granddaughter Kayla, when we stopped at the Dollar Tree for a gift bag. With time to kill we looked around, grabbed a couple of cards, and browsed through the gift bags. One that caught my eye had big letters on two different lines spelling out “Ele Brate”. The cogs and wheels in my little brain started churning, trying to decipher “Ele Brate”. Finally, I came to the conclusion that it was French for some high-dollar, and wildly popular new fashion item. So, out loud, I pronounced the two words as “L-A-BRAH-TAY”. I said them with my usual confidence and flair and smirked at Tammy in what was a facial equivalent of fist pumping. Tammy looked at me in wide-eyed shock, then burst out laughing. When she could finally get her breath she pointed to what I thought was a half circle hugging the the words “Ele Brate”. Almost doubled over, she said, “That’s a “C”.
It took me a moment, and when it finally dawned, the humor of it overshadowed my chagrin and I joined her in the almost breathless laughter. A lady passing by grinned at us and said, “You two are just having too much fun.” So I showed the bag to her and asked, “What do you think this says?” She replied, “I don’t know. It’s in Spanish.” That sent Tammy and me off again. When Tammy showed her the big “C” cupping the two words, she had to laugh, too. None of us had seen the word “C-ele-brate” written that way before.
Okay. On to the birthday bash a few miles north of the Blountsville town proper at the four-way stop. Up on the hill from the corner of Hwy. 231 and 278 sits the Rainbow Crossing Cafe where Kayla works. Arriving before the birthday girl, Tammy and I met with Michelle and Montana (Kayla’s mother and sister). The grinning cafe employees pointed the way to a long back table, out of the way of flying waitresses. We set up the gifts and cards and I had my camera ready. Montana had brought her friend Heather from school so we got a few “before” pictures of the girls and the table. When Kayla arrived everybody started singing Happy Birthday as she hid her face and fled to the kitchen, where she was hauled out by her co-worker friends.
Then, of course, everybody started talking at once with hugs all around and people trying to dodge my clicking camera. But I’m a pro. I get my man, or whatever.I only had a sip or two of my coffee before everything went kaploo-ee and I had to be everywhere at once. But, not to worry. It didn’t go to waste. Montana stole sips of it here and there. Kayla was hyper-excited and, though given a few minutes of free time to enjoy her party, was torn between duty and “C-Ele-Brate-tion”. Thank God, unlike her grandmother, she’s young and strong and still has all her faculties. We timed the small get-together for 3 p.m., a relatively slow time at eating establishments. We didn’t have much choice, since Kayla seems to always be working, and also seems to enjoy it.
Kayla and mother, Michelle
WHAT CUTE LITTLE KITTENS. ONE, TWO, THREE. MONTANA (ABOVE) IS TEMPTED TO GET HER LITTLE PAWS IN THE WRAPPING. THE CROWN PRINCESS (BELOW) IS SUMMER IN AUTUMN. SUMMER IS PURRRFECTLY READY FOR HALLOWEEN. AND THE KITTEN ON THE CARD IS JUST CUTE. SUMMER AND HER FAMILY WERE DINING CUSTOMERS, NOT A PART OF OUR BIRTHDAY BASH, BUT SHE WAS JUST TOO CUTE TO PASS UP WITH A CAMERA, WITH PERMISSION, OF COURSE.
After the flying ribbons and paper settled, and exclamations quit ringing in the air, we settled in and ordered the good country fare. I think everyone else had the special — country fried steak — while I had a BLT. They piled that sandwich with crispy bacon, fresh lettuce and juicy tomato, and I washed it down with the rest of my now-cold coffee and a good hot refill. At one point Kayla joined us briefly to show her mother a binder filled with some computer work she had laboriously created with graphs and timetables for the restaurant. She’s a conscientious girl. We spent another good hour around the table gossiping and exaggerating and griping about the world going to hell in a hand basket. You know. Like we all do when we get together and start jawing. It was a perfect fall day with just the right breeze skirting around. But there’s not much color to speak of. We’ve had drought for half the summer with only intermittent sprinkles and a light shower here and there. [in this picture Tammy is demonstrating her electric cigarette. Michelle wants to share.] So, as they used to say in the newspapers — “a good time was had by all” — and we wended our way home as the sun sank slowly toward the western horizon, painting the hills and trees and houses in a warm autumn glow.
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Thank you, Dawn Bryant (owner), and employees of Rainbow Cafe, for your time, tolerance, and altogether great hospitality. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit. And for my readers and RV friends, if you get a chance to go through that part of Alabama (Blount County) and you’re hungry, stop by the Rainbow Crossing Cafe and tell them The Village Smith sent you.