Our monthly calendar of events said: 11.15 AM bus leaves for lunch at THE BLUE FLAME. The blue flame is an extraordinary restaurant. When it first opened it had either saw dust on the floor, or was it hay. I don't remember. All home made furniture. Long planed hunks of wood for tables, and benches to squeeze into. A big tub of bottled soda or water or maybe ice tea. One goes up to the counter, places the order, pays, and then gets eating implements from the counter. In no time the baby back ribs or the bbqed chicken with home made cornbread, delicious salad that you can eat with your fingers, and beans appear on the counter and your name is called. There is unlimited paper towels on the table.
Ten of us, counting our bus-driver who eats with us all of raved over the food. The driver whose name is Keith is a tender man. He treats all of us as a friend and offers help where ever it is needed. We have one or two who need help with steps. And there are a few who need help reading the menu. And always e pointsout where we can go to floss our teeth. It was an amazing meal. At our table three had the medium size meal (meaning four ribs) and one, a male, had the large meal (meaning eight ribs) For desert one could have a small candy bar. Then the driver took us on a drive around. We went far up into the Olympic Mountains and we encounter quite a bit of snow, we saw several groups of deer, and then we returned to sea level. There the bus stopped at 37 flavors and we all bought a small ice cream cone for $1.11. The driver gets it for us, collects the money and we are out of there within ten minutes. We are a quiet bunch eating our cones and I think most of us are eager to get home to our safe abode, ready for a nap.
Life can be beautiful as they said in some soap-opera. But it is hard not to think of the ones who are hungry. Poverty is not the best of stages in your life. but I treasure having been poor and hungry. It made me feel that there was nothing to worry about. Much later I had to amend this thought. You can be poor, but if you are not healthy, poverty SUCKS. When Sam and I married I owned $37.00. Sam was disappointed for he was under the impression he had married a Swedish somebody. I found out I had married a Republican, on top of a fifth Ave bus in NY on our honeymoon. We were always surprised when an anniversary rolled around and we were still mostly happy. Our 55th was our last. We had been lucky for a long time. And Sam gave me a wonderful compliment around that time. He said he had never been bored.