Tears and Laughter: Be patient, as you are rushing

Remember that scene in “Gone with the Wind” when times had gotten hard and Scarlett went out to the garden? And of course there was nothing there but radishes and a spirit rose up inside of her and that’s when she delivered her famous “as God as my witness” quote.

I thought I was going to have a similar experience at Travis’s General Store in Camden last week on Christmas Eve.

It had been only a few days earlier while I was waiting in line that a friend of mine told me about a new secret family recipe she has adopted every year for Christmas dinner. It’s pizza. She said she just calls ahead, picks them up, the grandkids are happy and the kitchen never even gets messed up.

Immediately, I saw this as a win/win situation. I made the executive decision that since I would be stirring together and baking for the following three days, that on Christmas Eve the Walker’s and Murphy’s would start it all off with pizza. I even called ahead to make sure they would be open.

“Yes,” the man said. “We are open 24 hours.”

“Even on Christmas Eve,” I asked. “Yes ma’am,” he said, “everyday, 24 hours.”

So with this plan in mind, early on Christmas Eve morning I texted Miranda, “Hey…text me when you are about to head this way and I will order the pizzas. That way they will still be hot when you get here.”

And she did. At approximately 5:34 pm she texted, “Hey…we are about to leave.”

I called to order the pizzas.

Nobody answered.

I hit call back.

Nobody answered.

I keyed in the entire number again. It rang about 20 times and still nobody answered.

By this time, Melissa and I were loaded up in her little white Camry and were in route with her driving and me holding on over in the passenger’s seat still trying to order the pizzas.

She slid up to the front door. I got out and stomped inside with my hair standing out on the ends. The phone had gotten pulled out of the wall. “I am sorry ma’am,” he said. “What did you want?”

So then I watched – like a hawk – as this nice woman slowly built these pizzas. One of them didn’t have anything on it but bacon. She would sprinkle a little bacon and stand back and look at it and tap, tap, tap it with her hands and I was seriously about to have a stroke.

I told her it wasn’t a work of art, to throw it in the oven that I had people waiting on me, it was Christmas Eve! Without speeding up at all she told me, “I’ve been here since 6:00 am…” And that really helped put things into perspective for me. I told her I was sorry she was working on Christmas Eve. And she told me she was sorry I had to wait and it all ended with a smile.

I don’t know if I will adopt the new secret family recipe to use every Christmas Eve. But if I do, as God as my witness…I’m going to start calling around noon.

Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Al. Watchman, Al.com, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era – https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist.