Note: There are 12 sections to this story that will be posted starting December 26, ending on January 6, the day of Epiphany. “Wanderers” can also be found in my book “My Best Christmas and other stories of the season” at Amazon.com.
Weather didn’t much affect what Betty Williston did on a Saturday morning. Rain or shine, moon shine that is, at 3 AM she woke up, got ready for the day, tossed her Yankee’s hat on over her gray mop of hair and headed to the diner- her diner. It was Betty’s ever since Harry sold the place to her, his best employee, a few years back after she worked for him for many years.
The place opened at six and she needed to get her locally world-famous, warm and fresh, larger-than-average, sweet, sticky cinnamon rolls ready for her faithful morning customers. Everyday, she baked cinnamon rolls and then took care of the customers while Arnie handled the griddle duties in the back.
Her routine was pretty much set. She knew the regulars quite well by now. For instance, there was the Monday crowd, mainly looking for a cup of dark brew that would wake them up and help them start a new week. Wednesday’s crew included the retired farmers, seed caps, Case IH sweatshirts and John Deere jackets. Fridays brought in the staff from the church down the block, making plans for saving lost souls. Every day was unique, and every group of customers was different. The folks came mainly from the neighborhood, each with their own stories, and Betty was privileged to be given a glimpse into some. However, for Betty’s story, there were only a few with whom she felt comfortable to share.
That Saturday, Betty surveyed her domain. She brushed her gray locks from her forehead. She smiled a grateful smile and unlocked the front door. She turned and rolled her eyes up to the ceiling and beyond and quietly said her morning prayer, “Thankyou.”
She knew things could have, should have been so different. She knew firsthand that life wasn’t always all coffee and sweet rolls. She also knew firsthand that like that rain soaked morning, the sun would poke through again. These were the days she looked for rainbows and often found them.