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Birthday Memories

Why is the perfect dining-out occasion noteworthy? Because perfection has become so rare. All sorts of places catering to consumers, unfortunately don't deliver what they promise. They are often understaffed making for lapses, errors, and forgotten requests. Restaurants are loud and overcrowded. The so-called ambient music is not just intrusive but grating and disruptive. Try to remember your last perfect meal out. When you do, write about it for posterity.


Mine was today at noon when my husband, sister and I set out to celebrate our birthdays. The destination was a family-friendly chain restaurant - Appleby’s - in the neighborhood. It was surprisingly empty since it was also Father's Day. It would no doubt fill up as the day progressed. We asked the hostess for the quietest corner of the restaurant, and she immediately offered to quash the music. Great start. We took an end booth along the windows. The food choices were varied, and all looked delectable in the pictures and descriptions on the menu. Choices were made, the food was exactly what we expected, down to my sister's order of charcoal broiled spareribs over-filling the platter and ensuring her another meal for the next day. My steak was done perfectly, mashed potatoes heaped and garnished with chopped, fresh parsley. What fun being served a hot dinner I had neither shopped for nor prepared. Best of all, with NO dishes to wash. No leftovers to stash in little airtight containers. 


All in all, a perfect dining experience. No curdled milk in my coffee or an unexpected shot of vanilla flavoring appeared, both things that happened two days prior in two locations. No soggy fries, old coleslaw or stale items landed on today’s table, just delicious food served by a lovely and gracious waitress.


So, rounding out the trip, a jaunt through the dollar store, sketching in the car and being accompanied by two of my favorite people made it a perfect day. How simple and straightforward. My thanks to all who helped make this birthday a happy memory. People I know and those nameless folks who worked behind the scenes. I am most definitely writing down today’s experience in my bobbin-olive journal. There are many to choose from, but I will use Family Memories, Gather Together to keep my memories of this, the happiest of birthdays.

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