Another winter season is drawing to a close at my 2011 winter home here in Quartzsite, Arizona. This is my very last week working at the Palo Verde Cafe.
My boss was short-handed this week so I offered to work as many days as she needed me. Damn! She took me up on it! I work every single day with Saturday as my last.
But it’s okay. I’m so into the routine, love the job, the customers, and the people I work with. It’s a pleasure to look forward to going to work each day.
And, when I’m not at work? I’m either designing new aprons, sewing them, or going off on a short jaunt somewhere to buy more material. I even wake up now with new designs floating around in my head. Gotta love the creative process.
I will miss so many people. They have been a part of my everyday life for the past six months.
Goodbye to Marie, the waitress who wears her handmade necklaces with the price tag still attached. Reminds me of ole Minnie Pearl, a comedienne from the Grand Ole Opry who used to wear her hats with the price tag hanging down in her face. Effective marketing technique. Marie has actually sold some of her necklaces to the restaurant’s customers.
So long to Sweet Sue, the most extraordinary dishwasher on this planet. Always smiling even surrounded by tubs and tubs of dishes. Every day I worked there I took her a can of Dr. Pepper and said the doctor is in! She’d flash a smile and say thanks!
Adios to Jorge, the temperamental cook. I got him good the other day. Hung my ticket up backwards with the blank side showing. He scowled at it, then scowled at me and I yelled Hah, got ya! On the inside I said Take that, Hombre!
A fond farewell to Pat the hostess who always wears the coolest outfits when she comes to work. She lives near Quartzsite year-round, loves the sun and her new soulmate, a rescued Australian shepherd dog named Cloud. He was born deaf so Pat uses sign language in training him.
Another waitress, Nina has four daughters. All under the age of five. She comes into work always cheerful, always positive. Probably happy for the break from her surely hectic home life. Whew! I will miss her bright smile.
Mark, another host and bus person will be making his way to the Texas coast to look for work there. He’ll be living near Rockport, Texas where I worked for a time. I’ve asked him to send me a picture of a sign along the highway there. It’s an advertisement for a bait shop and says Live and Dead Bait. Where else but Texas?!
All things considered, I have learned that the life of a waitress is one of perpetual motion, multitasking to the max, and smiling, always smiling in the heat of it all. At a time in my life when I thought I was ready to slow down, things are speeding up. I am loving it!
Tin Can Annie