Sometimes things happen on road trips that change you just a little bit. You see the goodness in people and it makes you want to be better, kinder, more willing to open your heart and your home to others. When we were driving from AL to TN, we meandered through the back roads east of Huntsville to Grant, Alabama. Our search for a meal led us to MiMi’s Cafe (not the chain). We did not realize that on Tuesdays the restaurant is closed for packing the baked goods that are sold to local shops and restaurants.
Closed? Well, that is just a technicality. We were told to come on in and have a seat. Really? Greg and I looked at each other incredulously. Really? Who does that? When the owner said she will cook us what she has - pot roast, mashed potatoes, green beans, sliced tomato and a few samples of different desserts, we said yes please! The girls however were a bit leery. They are not used to this type of openness, warmth and welcome. Where we come from closed is closed, come again another time.
We sat down in a room to ourselves and I discovered that I adore sweet tea. Normally I am an unsweetened tea kind of gal, which I hope does not give some insight into who I am.....but I figured given this experience we were having, it was time to try real sweet tea. Then the food came. Plates piled with home cooked food. When it was done, we were asked if we would like more! Again, where we come from a second plate comes at a second cost and would never ever be offered gratis. I told the girls to savor this moment. It was special and one our family would talk about on trips to come. This was the moment that so many others will be measured against. Remember that little place in Alabama where we were welcomed in and treated like family? Remember that time we talked about our dreams to own a pie shop and a book store where music is played and the baked goods are fresh? Remember leaving there full and happy and completely at peace?
I am sure that the owners of this cafe had no idea the impact they had on this family from Connecticut. I am sure they have no idea that the meal they served my family will go down on record as one of the best meals we have ever had.