Saturday, September 08, 2007

Breakfast at the "Fort"

I just finished a late breakfast at the Fort Davidson Motel and Reastaurant, the "Fort" as it is called locally. Even though I sat by myself, I had a rather enjoyable time.

It was raining outside (a steady downpour with occasional lighter spells) and the news was on in the background at the restaurant. Sporting news was talking about the breaking Ankiel story, the weather was talking about Gabrielle and her impact on the coast and the real news was about Bin Laden's latest tape as we approach 9-11.

As this was going on, I watched a couple of dads and their young boys finish their breakfasts only to stand outside and wait for the rain to let up a bit. One of the dads ran out to the pickup truck, grabbed a plastic bag out of the bed, and ran back to where the others were waiting. In the bag were two newly purchased hooded raincoats that the boys put on. Then the four of them dashed to the truck. When they pulled out, I saw the trailer that was attached to the truck. It was loaded with four four-wheelers! The rain has stopped now and I'm sure that they are having a blast!

I also eavesdropped on a table conversation of a older woman and a younger man. The man was probably in his forties and had called his mom to take her to breakfast at the "Fort." I had a chance to speak with her as they were leaving. I'm pretty sure that her son knew just what he was doing. I could tell that it made her day to have him come by and take her out to breakfast. In our short conversation I found out that her husband that had served in WWII was killed a few years ago in a car accident two blocks from their home. I found out that her granddaughter (this son's daughter) worked here at the restaurant until she had a baby just a few month's ago. The little one has a hole between heart chambers and is being fed through a tube until she gets strong enough for surgery.

A couple of other families came in and a small group of women were eating together. It was a pleasant reminder that the news in the background is really just that--background. In the foreground we have life. We have family and friends. We care about each other. Though we may have our own burdens, we rarely have to face them alone. We stand together. Dad's get wet so that their boys don't have to. Sons take moms out so that they're not alone. Friends spend Saturdays together and everybody prays for little babies that have health issues and offers hope to the parents.

The food was good and I enjoyed the time. But something tells me that it was just another Saturday for the patrons of the Fort. This is how they do life.



Bilbo said...

Great post, John! I was struck by your comment that "Dads get wet so their boys don't have to." It reminds me of another quote I ran across some years ago: "Men today work hard so that their sons won't have the problems that made men of their fathers." There's something to be said for that, and for the sharing of difficulties to prepare the next generation to face the knocks of life. Many years ago I attended one of the Outward Bound schools in Colorado. Outward Bound was started after World War II by a Scotsman who had been in the Royal Navy and noted that when a ship was torpedoed, even when the men got off into lifeboats, the older men tended to survive until rescue, while the younger men were more likely to die. His thesis was that the older men had had to face the rigors of a tough life that the younger men didn't (remember, this was in the late 40's). He founded the Outward Bound schools as a way to train young men (women go, too, now) that they can survive more than they think.

Just a wandering thought. Again, great post! Bilbo.

Amanda said...

I like that I don't have to face my burdens alone. However, it always makes me think of some friends I have that live all alone, away from their home countries. They have friends...but I don't think the sort that will help them through any difficult times.

Bilbo, there is an Outward Bound school in Lumut, Malaysia too. My parents discussed sending me there (to my horror) but luckily I was too young at that time and they forgot about it when I grew older.