Like a fine wine, that savings bond was tucked safely away, maturing until the right time.
Recently, my husband’s Grandmother hosted a dinner party. Fairly normal occurrence. Except, she’s been dead for 18 years.
This was our kids first “fancy” dinner. Not quite black tie but still dress up. (I made them put on their Sunday Best.) And it’s one of the most memorable dinners we’ve had so far. Grandma’s ghost or any other apparition didn’t actually appear. However, her generous spirit was lingering even now long after she’d been gone.
Cheerful, lively and generous, my husband’s Grandma Flo was affectionately called ‘CashFlo’ by her grandchildren. She lived out the Bible verse, “God loves a cheerful giver . . .” and was constantly slipping cash to one grandchild or another. A generous nature is a precious character trait she passed on to my mother-in-law and to my dear husband.
Well, six months ago, while searching for a document , my husband found a savings bond that we got for our wedding. It was from Grandma Flo. After twenty years, the bond had matured nicely.
A wonderful idea struck my husband. To celebrate our upcoming anniversary, we’d take our children to dinner at an upscale restaurant courtesy of Grandma Flo. They’d get to experience fine dining!
Reservations were made at Sophabella’s. It’s a quaint local Italian restaurant specializing in steak, pasta and Chicago-style pizza. All family favorites.
Since I insisted everyone dress up it caused a few melt-downs. There are certain members of our family who refuse to do any activity that might attract attention. Even minor, like dressing for dinner. Several debated it wasn’t necessary since Sophabella’s atmosphere can be casual to fancy and everything in between. I stood my ground. Special occasions require something more.
Well, the big day arrived. However, when we got to Sophabella’s, the parking lot was blocked with a couple of guys striping the parking spaces. The place looked closed. Not a good sign.
Somewhat concerned, we parked next door and walked over. One of the guys waved us to the door.
The restaurant was almost empty except for one couple sitting in a booth near the entrance. They finished dinner and left soon after we arrived. A bored looking waiter stood at the hostess station.
“Reservation for six?” Apparently not necessary tonight!
He seated us at a table directly in the center of the restaurant. However, with the entire place empty, there were no worries about standing out!
We couldn’t have planned it better. A relaxed and festive attitude took over. The kids were told to order anything they wanted. They kept asking about different dishes and we’d say “Whatever you want!”
My youngest ate her first New York Strip. She loves steak and it was a treat to watch as the steak was placed before her. “This is so cool. I can eat the whole steak? This is cool.” I’m pretty sure she fell into some kind of steak-trance. This child loves steak so much she boasts that someday she’ll raise cattle just to have her own supply.
We ate everything from appetizers to dessert. At one point in the evening, as my middle daughter passed her extremely decadent chocolate cake around, I raised my coffee cup.
“A toast! To Grandma Flo who made this evening possible.”
Glasses raised. We grinned contently at each other. “To Grandma Flo.”
I peeked at my husband as glasses clinked. He smiled back a bit misty eyed.
Thank you Grandma Flo.
Now twenty years later, your cheerful spirit is still generously giving.