(With reference to her comment in yesterday's post.)
As my regular readers now know, each year on our annual family ski trip we have a tradition of driving back into Denver on Friday after a week of skiing, checking in to a motel, cleaning up, and then having supper at one particular Romano's Macaroni Grill restaurant.
We know one of the waitresses there, and make sure to sit at her table every time we visit. Her name is Katie. She has become, over the last 5 years or so, a good friend of the family. She treats us like royalty, and the restuarant manager comes to greet us personally and thank us for our regular patronage. Regular as clockwork -- once a year! (Part of the reason is probably the fact that we eat and drink like pigs, run up a big bill, and leave Katie a HUGE tip. Believe me, it's worth it!)
Last year Katie and my daughter Amy conspired to set up a surprise birthday party for me, complete with balloons and decorations, and Katie even bought me a gift!
No, I'm NOT going to re-tell that story now or re-show you the pictures. Go back in my archives to early February, 2006, and you'll find it all!
Anyway, last Friday we all trooped in, were led to our reserved table, and (as usual) were gawked at by many of the patrons.
Well, we were all wearing our matching Earle family ski sweaters, of course! It's part of the tradition. Plus we were all greeting and hugging Katie.
(How often do you see seven people wearing matching clothes walk into a restaurant, hug the waitress, and then sit at their reserved table? Huh? How often? NEVER, right? Right.)
Two ladies at a table beside ours watched all this going on and, apparently having had enough wine to lose her inhibitions, one caught Carol's arm and asked, "Why are you all wearing similar sweaters?"
Well, it's a legitmate question. I'm sure the other nearby patrons all WANTED to ask, but only this one lady had the nerve to do so.
Carol very sweetly explained that we were all part of a family, and we went skiing in Colorado one week out of each year, and then came to this restaurant for our last supper together before going our separate ways. When asked, she told them that we gathered there from Texas, Chicago, and Tampa, pointing as she explained to the members who hailed from each of those spots.
The incredulous lady then asked, "Where did you find these sweaters?"
We (not Carol, in all modesty) told her, pointing at Carol, "SHE made each of them . . . by HAND!"
The ladies looked at each other, mouths gaping, and the one who had been nervy enough to ask said (oudly enough to be heard across the room), "I want to be a member of that family!"
Stand in line, lady. Stand in line.
(Scroll down just a bit to see the sweaters.)