To show their gratitude for our providing them with decorated Christmas cookies and fruitcake for their family Christmas breakfast, our Chiropractor and his family send us home with an over-abundance of lovely gifts.  One we’ve appreciated for several years is a gift certificate for a local Chinese buffet restaurant, simply named “Kings.”  There is another chain restaurant named “Mandarin”, but the range of choices and quality of food is about the same, only the price is 50% higher.

Husband, son, daughter, grandson – the birthdays all crash down like that Russian meteor, Sept. 21, Oct. 1, Oct. 3, Oct. 6.  We barely catch our breath from blowing out one set of candles, when it starts all over again.  The wife’s birthday is on Feb. 19.  It gives us time to save up our pennies, the ones that are now officially out of circulation.  The four adults do the work on the cookies, so we use the gift certificate to pay ourselves back.  The grandson and his fiancée are old enough to develop their own plans, so the rest of us have an evening out.

Ontario has established a new statutory holiday.  The third Monday in February is now, Family Day.  This year it fell on the 18th.  If we were to go out on a Saturday or Sunday, the prices for the same food are 25% higher, and the crowds are thick.  Had we gone out on the Monday, the prices are better, but the place would still be packed.  We waited till the wife’s birthday on Tuesday.

We don’t tell anyone at the restaurant that it is.  If you’re foolish enough to do that, you get – Clap, Clap – It’s your – Clap, Clap – Birthday – Clap, Clap – You’re real – Clap, Clap – Centered out – Clap, Clap.  You get a chocolate muffin with a candle, they stick a cardboard tiara on your head that makes the one from Burger King look real, and they take a Polaroid for future blackmail.  We did it last year when the son turned 40.  The wife says she’ll admit to it next year, when she turns 65.

Waiting to use the gift certificate till the middle of February serves several purposes.  The hustle-bustle and over-eating of the Christmas/New Year’s season is over.  The son is the only one with a job, but we all need a middle-of-the-winter holiday.  The weight-watch dieting has been back in force long enough to justify a “just-one-time” exemption.  It is the wife’s birthday, and she deserves one night where she doesn’t have to plan/cook a meal, and the daughter doesn’t get left, eating leftovers all alone, while the kids invade their favorite Starbucks for the evening.  It’s another evening like the ones we spent making cookies.  We enjoy a communal meal, laugh, talk, tell lies and jokes and catch up on each other’s lives.

While only able to afford to do this once or twice a year, we’ve developed a bit of a relationship with one white male server.  Even if we’re not seated in his section, he stops over to see us when we pop in.  The son was startled when he showed up at his shop one night, working through the temp agency.  Son was worried that he’d lost his job, but, while stressful, the reason was more prosaic.

Several of his friends had decided to go on a trip to Europe, or Nicaragua, or Newfoundland.  He wished to accompany them but didn’t have the funds for the fare, or the time off, so he signed up for a second job.  He got off work at ten at the restaurant, and went to the son’s shop for an 11 to 7 shift.  He did this for six weeks, to earn enough money….and the other guys couldn’t agree on where or when, and the trip fell apart.  Wisely, he invested it in a restaurant management course.

Our chiropractor has found out about my blogging, and has become a regular follower.  He goes down to his den in the basement, and gets on his computer before clients begin to arrive.  This post will be up early Tuesday morning, when wife, daughter and I have an 11 AM appointment.  I’m using it as another way of expressing the family’s gratitude for facilitating a most enjoyable evening out.  Good morning, Peter.  Let’s talk about comments.

How ‘bout the rest of you?  I’d show gratitude for some comments.

12 thoughts on “Gratitude

  1. Peter Ambos says:

    Good morning Paul.
    I’m flattered and pleased that all of you enjoy our Christmas gifts to you.
    I’ve never been ” written up ” before. Awesome. Thanks, Peter.


    • Archon's Den says:

      You are quite welcome. You (and the family) have done so much for us over the years. We each think we’re getting the better side of this deal….and we’re both right. Has Penny seen this?


  2. whiteladyinthehood says:

    “We enjoy a communal meal, laugh, talk, tell lies and jokes and catch up on each other’s lives.” – I love that part of the story, Archon! You are fortunate to have such a sweet family. Tell Granma Ladybug I said, “Happy Birthday!” (I’m sure she is a hot n rockin’ 64)
    It sounds like you have a nice relationship with the chiropractor – what a sweetheart!


    • Thank you very much! Peter & my family go back over 30 years. He saved me during my Christmas baking, when my back went out. He was just setting up his practice and I had never been to him before. It was after 8:00 pm, but he said I was to come over right away. I took along a sample of what cookies had been made. His wife called after Christmas to profusely thank me for the cookies. This started a tradition of gifting his family with cookies.

      Peter is a very special person…………..


  3. Newfoundland!!! Holy cow!! Talk about exotic destinations!
    Well, he’ll probably get more out of his management course. Higher return on his investment.


  4. Hey! We living in Newfoundland like to think we are exotic. A grand location to visit…too bad he couldn’t make it. Happy Birthday to Gramma Ladybug and hope you had a nice time. Sounds like you all did…


    • Thank you! Yes, we had the whole family over on the Sunday prior to my birthday. I treated them to Curried Beef with rice, and a creamy cucumber salad. The dessert was a family favourite of homemade Mango ice cream. The grandson & his financee gave me $30.00 worth of iTunes gift cards. I have already spent half on my music.


  5. benzeknees says:

    If I enjoyed eating out this would be a real treat for us too! I prefer to order in or pick up on a special occassion. I think it’s great you each do something special for the other – & what is special TO the other couple. They enjoy your baking, you enjoy the evening out.


    • Archon's Den says:

      As long as we don’t admit to a birthday, it’s a win/win situation. Even ignoring our retirement budget (and we can’t), with the wife’s inhalant allergies, we can only afford to go out very occasionally.


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