The traffic is getting slightly heavier. The houses are getting closer together. The whining is getting louder.
Lily keeps asking, “How long ’til we get there?” It is only a half-an-hour drive.
I know why she is asking, though. We are going to meet Daddy for lunch, and she is so excited to see him at work.
We weave our way through the narrow streets in an industrial area. I have these streets etched in my memory, yet I couldn’t tell you their names. After negotiating the maze, we arrive at my husband’s company.
Before we go to lunch, Ed takes us on a tour. Ed borrows some safety glasses for Lily and Emmy as we head into the shop. He shows us the wire EDM machines, water spraying against the glass to cool the parts being worked on. We walk through the grinding room and smell the oil. Ed is obviously delighted to show his girls the place where he spends most of his day. Even after being married for almost ten years, I don’t think I’ve had the full tour until today.
Ed took us into the quality room. “Now here’s a guy you need to meet,” he said. “This is Vladimir.” A large man with white hair turned around to shake my hand. He speaks with a Russian accent.
“I tell your husband when we meet, that if he does not come to shake my hand every day, he will give me a dollar,” Vladimir says, smiling as he shakes my hand.
“It’s true,” Ed adds. “I make sure to shake his hand at least twice a day!” The lunch bell rings and Ed clocks out. We get in the car to go to Ed’s favorite lunch place. The sign is faded; the red hot dog now looks pink and the yellow background is almost white. But the parking lot is newly paved, the yellow lines are sharp and crisp, and the restaurant is busy. We go up to the counter to order, and Ed orders his all-time favorite lunch from Papa Chris’–a patty melt. It is a rare treat for him; a thin burger smothered with cheese and grilled onions, sandwiched between buttery grilled bread. So different from the usual turkey-on-wheat he makes himself.
We linger over fries; Lily is generous with the ketchup. Emmy, her hot dog gone, asks if she can sample some of the meat from my gyro. Lunchtime is over too soon and it’s time for Daddy to go back to work. We drop him off and are on our way to return a pair of wrong size shoes I bought for Lily last week.
Having lunch with Daddy. Just writing about it makes me smile.