I seemed to be healing better every day. Actually, sometime around Monday, I lost my limp and was able to get up and down out of chairs pretty good. You would never know anything happened to me now if you saw me. I still have to be careful when lifting heavy things. I was in Fred Meyers with Judy yesterday and a woman asked me to lift something for her as she had just had surgery. Judy laughed and said that so had I but knew that I was going to anyway. I already had the case of water into the bottom of her cart before she could say anything....besides, her surgery was much harder than mine. I admired the fact that she was out shopping instead of laying around. I think certain activity helps in the healing process as long as you don't over do.
Tomorrow, we will be taking a hike with some of our crew members. This was something that we started the summer before the truck stop closed down to help bring the crew together in events outside of the diner. But, the work and intensity of taking over the business stopped this event. Judy has just revived it and we will be taking our first hike. One that will be fairly easy along the Metolious River past Camp Sherman. It is around an hour hike past some of the springs that feed the river and ending up at Wizard Falls Fish hatchery where we will have a bite before heading back to our cars and home. This should be a fairly good hike for our families with small children. Judy and I went out to get our hiking food yesterday and she is packing me one of my favorite old simple sandwiches that brings back so many memories, Peanut Butter and Jelly.
The email that the National Restaurant Association sent me letting me know that I was one of the finalists had all of the other finalists emails attached to it. I thought about this for a second and sent a reply to all back, congratulating them all and thanking them for their individual contributions. Before I knew it, I was receiving emails from all over the country including New Orleans, Chicago, Michigan, and Oklahoma to mention just a couple. All have invited us to visit if we are ever around. It feels good to have other kindred spirits in the country.
Finally, I was walking around the diner pouring coffee on Tuesday. I said Hi to a friend at one table and a man at the next sat up with a start. I apologised for startling him. "Are you Jake?", he asked. "Well, yes and no.", came my answer, "I am Lyle.". "I know that.", he said, "I recognised your voice.". I hear you on the radio all of the time. I love your ads. The come across as so sincere and guess what? Everything you say is true.". I listened as he continued. "This is my first time in. As I walked in the door, I spied three guys sitting at the counter laughing. Do you pay those guys to do that? It made me feel so at ease. And your staff is so friendly and your food tastes so good. I will surely be back for more.". I thanked him and brought Judy over to meet Bob of whom I certainly hope will be added to the list of friends that I have met in the years of running Jake's. People like that validate you and inspire you to do your job to the best of your abilities. It is the Bobs and Staceys or the Anns, Mikes, Dianes, Bills, Richards, Lous, and Gayles of the world that inspire you to do better and end up becoming more than just customers, but close friends. I am so incredibly grateful for those and so many other names that if I tried to mention all would list so long.