Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gifts of the Season

By Belinda

I pull into the plaza in the gray early morning drizzle and see no cars outside Cora's, but the green neon sign in the window says "OPEN." It is 10 to 8 on Sunday morning and inside the restaurant, the young cooks are busy chopping up fresh fruit and vegetables. I see that I am only the second customer to arrive.

The waitress leads me to a booth and I slide into a space that feels like a private bubble of utterly luxurious peace and quiet. I am here for my second of 12 VIP card breakfasts and I order Eggs Benedict with brie and mushrooms--on my friend Dave's recommendation.

A mom, dad, and two children are seated in the next booth. The mom negotiates a peace accord with the kids: "We have a long day ahead. If I sit with you now, I sit with Nicholas later--or I sit with Nicholas now and you later."

She places an order for "French toast with cereal on the side."

Feliz Navidad plays over the sound system and one of the kids sings along softly..."I want to wish you a merry Christmas."

My breakfast arrives and oh, it is just as delicious as Dave said it would be. Slices of creamy white brie snuggle with mushrooms under a blanket of Hollandaise sauce next to crisp  home fries and fancy fresh fruit salad. A cup of steaming black coffee is replenished every few minutes. Almost heaven!

Another young family arrives, the man carrying a baby in one of those car seat baby carriers with one hand and holding a toddler's hand with the other and the all settle into the booth two down from mine.

The family on the other side of my booth discusses the Christmas party they are going to.

"It's going to be a different kind of party this time," says the mom, "There will be "stations" and Santa is one of the "stations." And instead of all the 7 year olds going up to Santa as a group, it will be families going up together."

This mom is not only a skilled negotiator but she is wisely setting up the day for success by telling the kids what to expect.

I sit, surrounded by the books I have chosen to share my precious time alone with and I quietly celebrate the gifts of the seasons.

While appreciating the gifts of seasons past, I am grateful for the freedom of "now."

9.00 a.m. and the restaurant is rapidly filling with families starting their day of pre-Christmas activity here. A lengthy line if forming at the entrance and santa hatted children are sprinkled about the tables.

I suddenly feel like an odd and solitary duck with my booth all to myself. Time to make way for the waiting hordes and go home to get ready for church!


Dave Hingsburger said...

Oh, Belinda, we are just back in the land of Coras and that sounds like the perfect breakfast. I'd be tempted to hop in the power chair this morning and head down to our 'local' ... but Joe's a bit unwell and we'll stay at home and have a much more subdued kind of breakfast. But, my, oh, my, isn't the mushroom and brie combination lovely?

Belinda said...

Dear Dave,
Welcome home!!

Sorry to hear that Joe isn't well. I hope he's feeling better by now.

Yes, that mushroom and brie combination was lovely!

swissdebbie said...

Hi, I Googled Coras when you first wrote about it; if I ever come to canada, that's the place I want to go!

Belinda said...

It is a date!!