Monday, November 2, 2009

Early retirement

I meant to write this post last night, but after too much champagne, I decided the morning might present a more coherent read.
Yesterday was the official last day at the Grapevine (hence the champagne--I was celebrating...?). It was all cleaning, all fun, and all over. Until April first next yearI wont be making any more Goat Cheese Apples, roll balls of butter, bake tortilla rings, or fasion Romanoffs; wont be yelled at in German; wont have to scarf down lunch in thirty seconds flat before the next rush starts. And I will miss it, deeply miss, all of it.
The truth is, I love the chaos, the stress, the yelling, because they come part and parcel with the wind-down, the success, the laughter. Such crazy afternoon services meant that we broke records twice this season: one Saturday we served the most lunches in seven years, the next day, we broke that record by another fifty. The three high fives that came of that gave a feeling of commaradery that would last for many seasons beyond--you could just feel it, we achieved that together, we all kick ass at our jobs! I pinpoint that weekend as a starting point for a mutual respect that existed all along, but at that point became conscious. In fact, this season I really saw and felt a pride in and appreciation for myself; where I felt welcome before, I was now unstatingly a key part of it all. There are many little memories, looks, compliments, moments, that make me smile and look forward to the next season of complete and utter chaos.
Though it will be nice to have my heart rate and blood pressure at a relatively normal level for awhile, yesterdays final closing has left me with a bit of a gap--no a Grand Canyon. The Grapevine is such a huge all-or-nothing part of my life for eight months that the next four seem impossibly vacant. Especially the next two weeks before school starts; I do not do well with free time, and this enforced vacation is somewhat daunting. Sure I plan on doing all of the things that there is simply not time for while immersed in our season: writing more, working on my photography, visiting family and friends, cleaning my home (no it has not been eight months since the last time doing that), catch up on sleep, cook in my own kitchen whatever I want, maybe learn German for next year--but it all seems so low key in comparison. It is only a matter of time though, before I get used to that, to the quiet, to the normal paced eating, to the relaxation--all of which I will happily give up again in the spring.
So the champagne toasted last season and the next, while what was left this morning to have with breakfast,celebrated the in-between. Cheers.

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