Work was crazy busy, even for a Friday. Then I came home and mowed. Now I'm sitting on the couch watching dusk fall, feeling the breeze, smelling the petunias in the window boxes, listening to the birds and Stevie Nicks, with the animals around me. This is good.
We had Pizza Hut brought in for lunch at work to celebrate our survival of the week of the storm and power outage. So, of course, I've been thinking about all those years you managed Pizza Huts. I lived with that smell for so many years - on you, your uniforms, in the car, everywhere. And all the generations of Pizza Hut uniforms I've washed! You wore everything from the old red double knits to the brief period that managers had to wear white shirts and ties. I've seen so many new products come and go, seen the advent of the buffet, pan pizza, and delivery. You were made general manager of your first one in 1980 - that was thirty-four years ago. Yes, we saw some changes.
I was so proud of you. You were a good restaurant manager. You loved the customer contact, the financial part of it, the social work aspect of working with employees - everything except corporate politics. It wasn't anything I could ever do, but you were perfect for it. And your last job at Panera was perfect for you. You and the company were a perfect fit. I'm sorry you didn't get more years with them. But then, I'm just sorry you didn't get more years. I'm glad that your last job was one that you loved so. It was wonderful to see you look forward to going to work every day.
I don't get to Panera often - I don't go to that part of Goshen very often. But they will always have a special place in my heart for the way they treated you, and me after your death. And Pizza Hut, of course, will always mean you to me. I enjoyed my two pieces of supreme today. All that was missing was you.
Eating pizza for you,