Consider this my post for today and tomorrow because of my really early morning tomorrow.
Tomorrow morning I will be headed to Cape Girardeau for a presentation to the Missouri State Conservation Officers. On my way down I will have to stop at what, for me, is almost a mandatory stop for breakfast at the Waffle House on Butler Hill Road.
Why is it "almost mandatory"? From 2002-2008 I ate there almost every other Saturday and Sunday when I was the Saint Louis Karting Association flagman and race director. So, from about March to October I would eat there four times a month.
I enjoyed those early mornings and I became a fixture there. One waitress never spoke to me as I always ordered the same thing and that was awesome! She always got an inflated tip.
While I was known there I was always a stranger. No one knew my name, or what I did whereas other people that were always there constantly had conversations about their lives and what they were doing that day. One man always had the Saint Louis. Post Dispatch and would do anything he could to debate politics. While all this was going on I sat silently.
I may have been sitting silently but I felt like I was part of something. I knew them, and they knew me and they knew I didn't talk much. It was wonderful.
Tomorrow though I will be stopping in again, at the Butler Hill Road location, but I am afraid. It has been so long since I was there that I'm sure not too many people will remember me and this means there is change and I hate change.
All those years I went I was unable to vocalize just how safe of a place that was for me. It may have seemed like a routine, and it probably was, but it was more. What I want to let you know through this story is that even though I may not have the most exciting look on my face, and trust me when I say I was as flat as could be when I ate there every weekend morning, but it was such a special time for me. I'm afraid though as usually I was simply a stranger in a known place, but tomorrow I could be a stranger in an unfamiliar place. I hope it is the same.