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Musing: Good People And Pies
The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving, we decided to eat at a local restaurant around the corner from the house rather than cook. Based on the crowd, we weren’t the only ones who had the same thought.
Asheville is, of course, a tourist destination. We are accustomed to the ebbs and flows of visitors as they flock to our city. A holiday weekend like Thanksgiving is one of those peak times. Families book hotel rooms or rent houses, and generations gather to celebrate.
With our meal complete and the bill paid, we worked our way through the crowded tables to the exit. We weaved through the line of people at the door, hordes waiting for a table.
A grandmotherly woman approached from another direction toward the same exit. She didn’t see me because her head was turned as she talked to someone behind the host stand.
We were on a collision course. Worse, she was balancing a stack of pies in her hand, a tower of sweet desserts. A disaster of gastronomic proportions loomed, so I froze.
At the last moment, she sensed my presence. Perhaps, she saw me out of the corner of her eye. Whatever the spark, she turned and immediately apologized. “Sorry.”
I replied. “No problem. I saw you coming and… well, I wanted to avoid knocking those pies out of your hands. I would’ve never heard the end of it.”
“You would’ve been in trouble?” Laughter erupted from deep inside her, a guffaw that made me smile. Her sides shook and the pies teetered. “My family would’ve killed me. Their one request as they planned to come into town was the only thing I couldn’t make—pies from this place.”
The restaurant does a special meal for Thanksgiving Day and offers three desserts—Pecan Pie, Pumpkin Pie, and Chocolate Cake. They also sell those same flavors as whole pies/cakes. I’ve never ordered one, but they are obviously quite popular. Orders had closed off the previous week, so if she dropped them, no replacements would be available.
We worked our way through the crowd, laughing and talking even though we had never met. I held the door for her to avoid a pie catastrophe. Well, I held the door because I was raised that way, so it’s an ingrained habit. I literally can hear my mother’s voice in my head reminding me of such manners.
Once we were outside, she angled left toward her car and I turned right. With the pies still safely balanced in her hand, she called out, “Have a Happy Thanksgiving.”
I responded, “Have a great Thanksgiving,” and left with a smile on my face.
This is such a basic, human story. Two strangers sharing a laugh over something that isn’t really that funny. We merely were friendly and wished each other well.
Despite its simplicity, I thought about the moment over the long weekend as similar encounters occurred. We walked our greenway through the neighborhood and wished neighbors and their visiting guests a Happy Thanksgiving. With my sister and fourteen-year-old Super Nephew visiting from Charlotte, we were out in town and greeted others.
I can pick up a newspaper or read a story on the internet and see horrible things, but I can’t do anything about them. But I can hold a door and share a smile. And a grandmother on a pie run can make others laugh.
Two strangers. An amusing moment. A shared, genuine wish for each other to have a good day. Just being human.
I hope her kids and grandkids enjoyed that pie. I’m sure they were warmed by her company. And I hope she had a great Thanksgiving.
Enjoyed the Story? Try a Novel
If you enjoyed today’s musing, please consider reading one of my novels. Each standalone book tells the story of big lives in a small town, ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges.
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And don’t miss this this month’s survey on fruitcake. The results will be shared in early December just in time for the next holiday meal.
Until Next Monday
Keep your pies balanced and your spirits cheery.
See you next Monday.
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