Back when restaurants were still fully operational, many of us felt the joy of getting the perfect table, one with comfy seats and a view and attentive servers delivering delectable meals. But, during our lockdown, outings at restaurants have mostly been curtailed, so we can only wistfully recall those lovely times at the prefect table.
For me and my sweetie pie those thoughts are of Table 1.
The inaugural Table 1 occurred in St. Lucia, when Ryan and I were on a scuba diving adventure on that lovely, mountainous island. As we often do on our dive trips, we’d rented a room with a small kitchen. Ryan is an excellent cook and we enjoy hitting local markets so we can eat what’s fresh and indigenous to the area.
Ryan had prepared a meal of spicy seafood gumbo, green salad, and crusty buttered bread. With the sun sinking on the Caribbean, we wanted to eat outside. Our room was situated near an open-air pavilion that sported stacks of tables and chairs and, on closer look, a bar and large, well-stocked wine refrigerator. Though a sign pointed out that the restaurant was closed for the summer, we walked through the building and found a beautiful bayside perch, where seawater lapped gently on the rocks.
Ry and I looked at one another, then we pulled a table up to the edge of the deck. We arranged two chairs, and I went to the owner of the small hotel and was rewarded with a linen tablecloth, napkins, and a candle. Ryan gathered our plates and utensils, while I carried the wine.
We ate our dinner washed by gentle sea breezes and watched the lights glimmer on in the houses across the bay.
“Best table ever!” Ryan stared out over the water.
“Table 1.” I agreed.
Then, we were distracted from our revelry by the appearance of a middle-aged man. Ry and I flinched, wondering if we’d overstepped some private-property boundary line, but he approached us smiling and introduced himself as the restaurant owner. After a brief moment of awkwardness, I offered him a glass of wine, but he shook his head, saying he had to get back to his other restaurant which remained open in the summer. He didn’t seem the least bit concerned that we had appropriated his establishment and invited us to visit his other restaurant, if we had the time. We assured him that we would and on the next evening we had a lovely meal, this time cooked by him.
The thing about Table 1 is that it has become a permanent part of our travels. Everywhere we go, we seek beautiful vistas at which we can gaze while eating. We even have a small metal folding table – dubbed Table 1 – that we take on our road-trip travels. That little table has been positioned in many lovely places, mainly situated in Arizona which is one of the most glorious and diverse geographic locales on the planet.
We have faced a desert vibrant with wildflowers, a vast expanse of mighty saguaros, and skies filled with a dozen shades of gray as monstrous storms swirled in the distance. We’ve positioned ourselves in the tall pines in Arizona’s Rim country and on the edge of a flowing river backed by red mountains where wild horses roam free.
Perhaps, the answer to surviving our current state of lockdown is the recollection of the lovely times we’ve had before, memories that can sustain us, until we are once again free.
Maybe now you’ll understand why I reminisce about Table 1 and so look forward to my next opportunity to set that particular table.
WILD HORSES ON THE SALT
A WOMAN FLEES AN ABUSIVE HUSBAND
AND FINDS HOPE IN THE WILDS OF THE ARIZONA DESERT.
Published by Liaison – A Next Chapter Imprint
Order your copy here: http://mybook.to/wildhorsespb
Rebecca Quinn escapes her controlling husband and, with nowhere else to go, hops the red-eye to Arizona. There, Gaby Strand – her aunt’s college roommate – gives her shelter at the Salt River Inn, a 1930’s guesthouse located in the wildly beautiful Tonto National Forest.
Becca struggles with post-traumatic stress, but is enthralled by the splendor and fragility of the Sonoran Desert. The once aspiring artist meets Noah Tanner, a cattle rancher and beekeeper, Oscar Billingsley, a retired psychiatrist and avid birder, and a blacksmith named Walt. Thanks to her new friends and a small band of wild horses, Becca adjusts to life in the desert and rekindles her love of art.
Then, Becca’s husband tracks her down, forcing her to summon all her strength. But can she finally stop running away?