Looking at my watch and seeing the time, I knew that I best get going as the main part of the crew for the day would be in place by 9AM. I had a thought, however, that some people might be interested in the video of the funnel cloud that I witnessed yesterday while watching one of Jay's soccer games so I set the computer uploading the video while I got myself ready for the day.
Arriving at work just before 9, I found the diner packed. We quickly got the back room going and before we knew, we had a line started. With the kitchen seemingly running on all cylinders and the rest of the crew buzzing around, we had one of our largest Sundays of the year. The line seemed to never stop and the day flew by until around 2 when I noticed that we had a clear entry and some of the crew asked if they could start getting ready for the preparation party for the makeover that was to start at 3. I knew that we shouldn't do to much before Andy and the cameras arrived but the crew was beat up from the busy day and didn't want to be working to late into the evening. I figured that we wouldn't get to much done before Andy arrived. After all, it was less than an hour away. I was greatly mistaken.
By 3, we had all of the tables cleared off, most of the supplies out of the room, and were taking the tops off of the tables. A few of our customers had arrived to help out with the pull out and clean up and we were all happy for the extra help. Andy's crew boss showed up and asked us to stop until Andy arrived so that we could video. We all reluctantly sat down and waited. Andy arrived and we did a little staging for the show with one of the customers acting as our last customer of the day. We then all got together and with a bang began the pull out and clean up of Jake's main floor. It kind of reminded me of the day that we moved out of the old place with people buzzing back and forth grabbing things and pulling them out.
Before we knew it, the floor was bare and Andy began taking down lighting while others pulled molding. We then began the task of pulling up the old carpet. I was busy answering questions on where to put things, packing things out to the storage sheds, hooking up phone lines, and putting up the banner out front that declared us open during the remodel. The LMAS crew and the customers who volunteered worked right alongside our crew as we worked to get as much done as possible before the first real day of the makeover.
Around 5, some of Andy's friends showed up and we all quickly gathered in the back room for a birthday celebration. It was Andy's 40th and he was spending it working at our makeover. Andy was called into the back room and was quite surprised as we all sang him Happy Birthday. Jimmy had made a cake and with the help of Jenn (Andy's wife) had made his favorite desert (Triffle). The kitchen cooked up his favorite food (Chicken strips, Fries, and Ranch Dressing) and we all chowed down on that and the cake.
After the final shot, both crews began to dissipate and Judy and I along with the remainder or our crew put on the final touches to prepare for the next day. Before I knew it, the crew was gone and all that I had left to do was make up some signs for the door and finish locking up.
Before I left, I walked over to the same window that I had stared out three years ago wondering how in the world we were going to be able to get the customers off of the roads that seemed so far away. Turning around and looking over the now bare floor, I was flooded with memories both good and bad as the vacant room seemed to talk to me of what it had gone through in the past three years. Overwhelmed with emotion, I just stood there and absorbed the thoughts and memories and was so thankful for the support of the community and the hard work of the crew that have got us to the spot that we are right now. For the people that guided me in the takeover of the diner, the others who assisted me in finding the building and getting it ready, the ones who volunteered to move us from one building to another, and the friends and customers who gave up their time today to help us in this transition, Vivian, Scott (Lana, our cashiers husband), Al from Exquisite hardwood floors, Dan from Absoulut Interiors, and Dwayne from Wood Awakening.
Dusty and sweaty, I set the alarm and drug myself out to the van and drove home. Judy and I sat in front of the fire and winded down, reminiscing the day. A hot bath and bed (even a blow up mattress on the floor as our bed is still in the old house) were a very inviting end to a very busy day.