Why do we dream the things we dream? The other night I dreamed I was working in a cafe that was just opening. It was hectic because it was new and no one really knew what to do and where things were. I was trying to pass out menus to people and get their orders. Every time I looked around more people were seated in the cafe. Someone asked me for walnut bread, but they wanted it to be freshly made and heated up. The cook had some, but it was frozen and not fresh, so I did not serve it. Almost as quickly as the cafe filled it up and was busy, it was suddenly empty - we had made it through our first rush. It seemed like a fairly simple anxiety dream, but not too anxious. What made me wonder about it was the cafe. Although I have waitressed at lots of restaurants and even owned my own cafe, I dreamed about the River View Cafe where I worked as a young kid.
We lived across the street from the RV at the Green Mountain Lodge. Our friends the Emorys owned the cafe and often needed help - like bussing tables or dishwashing when I was younger. I was ten when I started bussing tables - just barely able to reach across the table, load up a tub full of dishes, and carry it to the dishwasher. Then when I was about 14, I started waitressing. Maybe I was twelve. Edna Emory was the cook/owner. She was a big Indian woman from OK with a temper like you wouldn't believe. She taught me what to do as a waitress and sent me out to my first table. It was a table of about 8 tourist. I started at one end and worked my way around - just like Edna had said to do. When I handed her the ticket, she said, "I sent you out to take an order and you wrote me a book!" She was teasing, of course. I waitressed for Edna for several years. I can still remember standing behind the counter serving her apple pie, or taking orders when the food trucks had not been to town and we were out of everything. I can remember waiting on specific people like the Mutz family who always came in large groups and had been drinking - lots. They were a fun group, but a bit demanding and intimidating. I remember waiting on a group of jeep drivers (young handsome guys who drove jeep tours in RR). Once, as they were finishing their meal, I asked if I could "take anything off" meaning clear their table of unnecessary plates. Of course being the smarties that they were, one of them reached up and pulled on my shirt sleeve and said, "Sure, start with this." I was mortified. I remember waiting on Steve Smith one Christmas vacation. He was up skiing with a friend. He told me that he was coming back in the summer to drive jeeps. I didn't believe him, because he was not all that handsome or what I thought a jeep driver should be. He did come back and we became great friends and he was an excellent jeep driver. I never thought he was handsome, though.
I also have memories of Edna and Jack fighting - with each other or with employees. It eventually made me move on to work somewhere else - like the Highlander for Ray and Lottie Tweed. Lottie was the best at training waitresses. Working of her was great. Working for her husband, Ray, was iffy. Sometimes he was silly and teasing. Sometimes he was harsh. And so I moved on to Texas Red's. Reds was the best - lots of fun people to work with and lots of great memories. It was very organized, good food, and good tips.
Working at these places taught me lots, and I used that knowledge to open my own cafe. I have millions of memories of working as a waitress. So why do I dream about the RV?