There were allot of options this Friday night here in Bend. But, I had only two. A baseball game and a concert at the fair. Actually, I would best to say that I made two commitments. Two commitments to two daughters.
Every year, Bank of the Cascades holds a cap night at the park and Carrie receives tickets through her job at BOTC. She called me this year and gave me a date but I thought nothing of it, just telling her to remind me when the date got closer. She did this week but only after I had made a commitment to join Trinity at a concert at the fair with a singing group that she liked called Lady Antebellum.
I started up the morning by cleaning up the mess in our back yard from the storm of the night before. I had left the umbrella up only to find that the wind caught it and smashed the glass on the top of our outdoor table. By smashed, I don't say just broke. The largest piece seemed to be only a fraction of an inch across. The original piece being around five feet long and three feet wide. The smallest piece was like the one that just stuck in my foot as I stepped out on the deck on the hot night that we are having.
I swept as careful as I could to insure as many of these pieces going in the garbage bag as possible. I think a good wash down of the slab is in order to get as many as possible also.
I arrived at work to find the morning fairly brisk and jumped into the floor to help Tina and Toni, two of our longer term employees who had gotten there fair share of rips from the lady on Craig's list last week. I would write more about her as I know who it is but I don't think she is worthy or deserving of a larger written piece. Her attacks on our business, my employees, my daughter, and me are over now, thanks in part to Craig's list employees who saw the same thing that I did and were diligent in getting her posts off and hopefully warning her of the dangers of slander. I found that it is best to not be on Craig's list at all since even good posts bring people like this out of the woodwork when they hold malice in their hearts for you.
In the middle of that rush, I received a phone call from Margo (my dermatologist). I had two major medical appointments last week. A colonoscopy on Wednesday, where my blood pressure bottomed out in recovery causing me to black out (another story) and a skin check on Friday. I could tell by Margo lack of usual bubbly friendliness that I needed to listen to what she had to say so I went off into the quieter part of the restaurant in our back room.
As I bussed a table that had been left behind from an earlier Bible study, I listened as Margo told me that all three of my biopsies had come out positive for Melanoma. The good news was that none of them had been invasive and that they felt with a further scheduled skin surgery, could be eradicated. As we discussed this surgery and the need for more frequent visits, Jim showed up with his clip board, taking advantage of the fact that he had me cornered in the back room as he needed to get together with me to go over some pricing for a couple of up and coming cater jobs. Jay was right on his heals with a similar plan.
I waved them both back and went over to the corner of the room to discuss the problem further. Assured that I was OK and that the coming surgery would insure that, we discussed the fact that since all of them had been positive, the need for my children to keep an eye on their bodies also since this type of thing is hereditary. I have always known that since I had so many moles on my body, that I was at risk and have had scheduled check ups and biopsies in the past. Now, those check ups will be on a quarterly basis.
I must admit,the call weighed a bit on me as I hung up the phone but I did not have time to think on it as I had more pressing matters at hand in front of me. Jay needed the keys to my office so he could get out the small football above my desk for him to play with. Jim and I sat down at one of the tables and I brought my mind around to food and labor costs of the two jobs in front of us. One was for the Christian school in Redmond that we had helped out the year prior to and the other for a party for my old friend, Ron, who had helped me get the building ready when we first moved over a few years back. I desired to give the best price that I could to both events without hurting the business and Jim and I quickly crunched the numbers and came up with viable prices that he would go out and deliver to the two coordinators. Judy joined us at the table for a second but quickly jumped back up to serve her doctors on the other side of the room with a freshly baked cinnamon roll.
The business of the day kept me quite busy with the deposit, other bills that needed addressing now that Summer was back off of vacation, setting up food on the pass bar, and busing to keep clean tables for the customers walking through the door.
Jay had been playing out in the office on the floor and showed me where his hair was wet. He had placed his head down on the carpet while playing and had not realized that it was right where the air conditioner had wetted the carpet with condensation. His hair smelled like old socks! So, he asked if he could go to the house and shower. It was close to lunch so I had one of the cooks make me up one our our lunch specials. Judy lately has come up with some wraps and today we were having a crispy chicken wrap with breaded chicken, bacon, lettuce, tomato,and avocado. I poured a small amount of ranch dressing and added Cholulu sauce to it to my favorite dip that I call Cholulu Ranch and off Jay and I went for the house.
While Jay took his shower, I sat in the cool house and downed my delicious lunch. After Jay got out, he asked me if he could stay at the house so I jumped back into the car and headed back to the diner.
I decided to check on the vets down at the park. Every year, we back up the Vietnam Veteran's of America as they sell hamburgers and Jimmy's famous BBQ Chicken at the yearly Chevy Flash Back Cruz. Judy decided to come with me probably in part because this might be our only time alone for the day and she thought it pretty cool that we could just drive into the park and park our car on the grass behind the BBQ set up. After helping with some of the condiment set up, getting the grill fired up, and talking with some of the guys we thought it better to get out while we could as we could see that the old cars were beginning to arrive.
We arrived back at the diner and Judy sat with Casey while I finished off some bill problems out in the office. Judy called me out into the diner to meet some old friends of the previous owners who had stopped through on their way back to Las Vegas and I chatted with the friendly people about old times and their trip.
I noticed that the temperature inside the diner was at 80 so I jumped in my car and ran to the store to pick up some fans. I placed one box fan on top of the cooler pointed towards a cooling register and the other in the corner to try and move the air around better. I am really looking foreward to the end of this heat wave.
Trinity showed up soon with my tickets for the concert as her and her friend Ashley took off for the fair. Shortly there after, Carrie called and told me that she was heading out to the ballpark and would meet me outside. I drove home in the 100 degree heat and poured myself a tall heavily iced bottle of water for the evening, grabbing Jay and heading off to the park.
We arrived around an hour before the game, got our hats, and found some pretty nice seats on the first base side of the field. Part of the night was a BBQ for the bank members and while Carrie kept our seats, Jay and I went over to get our supper. We had a choice of hamburger, hot dog, or braut. I knew Jay's answer before even said it as a braut is always his choice and I chose hot dogs for Carrie and I. We went to the BBQ that had all of the meat laying out on the grill. I spied a nice plump hot dog that had my name on it. She placed Jay's ample braut on his bun and then went for one of the small dogs. "Wait a minute, I want one of the larger dogs.", I said. "You cant have those.", she countered. "Why?", I asked. "Because this is what we give out for the free meals.", she returned. "Let me get this straight. I could have asked for a burger, or a braut, but because I asked for dog and it is a free event, I only get the small dogs?" She dropped her spat, looked me in the eye and said, "I don't make the rules. Do you want the dog?" I took my two small hot dogs and returned to my seat with them eating mine in a couple of swallows while watching Jay munch down on what now looked like a huge braut.
Later, as the game started up some of the others around us brought over their larger dogs from the same BBQ area as someone had obviously corrected the young lady. Carrie giggled and rubbed that fact in knowing she would be able to go back over later for more dogs while I had to leave for the other part of my evening.
The game started with runs in the top and bottom of both of the two innings that I stayed. A text from Trin telling me that the concert was starting told me that I needed to get moving. Another text from a creative Trinity told me to hurry up to the other half of my 'Double Daughter Double Date'. I said my goodbyes to the guys around me at the game and jumped into the van, stopping by the diner on the way through to get the 'rest of my supper'. I had Kevin drop me a kilbassa dog as I still had a desire for the old ball park fare.
As I headed down the road, Trin kept texting me and as I got closer, I began to realize that I was not going to make it in time. As I walked up to the entrance, Trin informed me that the concert was over and asked if I would meet her at the Young Life booth. Last year, the fair was free to all vets so I asked if their was a discount for vets this year. "No, but I wish their was.", came the reply from the young lady at the booth. "It was a great thing to do and it brought many more to the fair.", she continued. She produced my ticket and thanked me for my service. I thanked her and stepped into the crowded fair to find Trin.
Trin was standing with her friend, Ashley and her father in front of the Young Life food stand. We chatted for a while as the concert goers filed by us. Two older ladies were discussing what they enjoyed about the fair as they walked by. One of them said, "You know what I like? I like watching the guys check out the girls butts as they walk by.". I laughed out loud as I heard that and turned to the others and asked them if they had heard the same thing. They had and we all had a great laugh over it.
An old friend and mentor walked out of the crowd. I first met Jim Ivey back in the early 80's when I sold candy and tobacco with Sherfy Candy company. I had the Madras sales run and Jim had a store there. I would come in and try to sell candy to him and he would often take the time to stop and talk. I learned more than I think he imagined in those small sessions and even now, some of the things that I do came from the instruction that I received in them. You might even say that if I had not learned from him about purchasing, I might not be where I am now for it was my purchasing ability that landed me the job as manager of Jake's so many years back.
We talked of those types of things and I let him know that I try and hand down those things to others as he did me. I told him of a story of a man who recently came by the diner and introduced himself to me. He said that I hear you are a man who works with his crew members encouraging them to move on and pursue their goals. I took him out to our cashier, Chris, and introduced him. I told the man that one day, Chris will be a very good photographer/videographer. Chris told him of Judy and my encouragement to him and I showed him where we allow Chris to display and sell his photos.
The man started to cry and I asked him why? He said, "I run a mentor organization. You are exactly the type of man that i try to teach them to be.". With that, he shook my hand and left. I told Jim that I still get shivers thinking about that. He looked me in the eye and said, "Lyle, it is quite possible that he could have been more than a man.". "You mean an angel?", I countered. "Exactly." was Jim's return. Well, angel or man, he made quite an impact and a validation that some of the things that we try to do are the right things.
We left Jim and filtered into the moving crowd. Three young ladies walked in front of us with light dresses and cowboy boots. I teased Trin as she sees herself as a young cowgirl sometimes. Then, I remembered what those older ladies had said and I began watching the guys sitting along the sides of the path on the various benches and as these three girls walked by, sure enough, many of the guys heads turned and eyes dropped. It was actually kind of fun watching both old and young.
We moved over to the pig barn and I sure would not want to work there consistently. I suppose you get used to the smell. With the help of friends, we found Tyler Robertson's pig but could not locate his mom, Cindy, who works for us.
Trin and I meandered through the fairgrounds just looking at all the sights and smelling all the smells. I got a call from Cindy who met us behind the Young Life building where Tyler was working. Trin said her goodbyes and I talked with Cindy and Steve Martin (a close friend who helps out with Young Life every year.). Steve informed me that before I leave, I need to go buy a bag of kettle corn for my crew. "Why should I do that?", I asked. "Because, all of the girls working that booth eat at your restaurant.".
That made sense, so we walked over and I ordered a bag. Steve said, "Give him a large bag of both.". I thanked the girls and with two large bags of kettle and carmel corn under my arm, I found my way back to my car and home.
A busy day finished and full. Full of messes, frustrations, information, friends, fun, old classic cars, baseball game, hot dogs, the fair, pigs, carmel corn, and best of all, my first Double Daughter Double Date.