Although there’d been a long delay, some things are just bound to come about. This one seemed to do so, thanks to nothing less than divine design.
A couple weeks ago, Alicia (my sister, of On Story Street) and I, had been engaged in errands away from the house for the morning. When we wrapped them up, we opted for a lunch break at Poseyville’s Red Wagon Restaurant. It’s close to home, reasonably priced and they have a huge salad bar available on the lunch menu. Being mostly vegan, it works well for us. We also enjoy getting to catch up with friends and neighbors who frequent the place for lunch.
Our waitress that day was a bespectacled, ginger-haired lady with a big smile. She had several other tables of guests to attend, yet she made it look nearly effortless. She worked with a smile, carrying on casual and interesting conversation with guests as she moved from area to area, bringing what they needed and taking away what they didn’t.
Now, here’s where I’ll share the out-of-the-ordinary. There was something about this woman. A feeling that came over me when she was near that I couldn’t explain, but still it (the feeling) was familiar. I’ve felt it before when meeting strangers. Both Nee (Alicia) and I had seen this lady working on previous visits but she’d never been our server.
When she stepped away, after asking what we’d like to drink, I said to Nee, “There’s something about her...” In my spirit I felt a gentle “push” to get better acquainted with her. When she returned with our orders, we chatted for a bit, and discovered we had a whole lot of territory in common. We’d all lived, visited and loved many of the same places, which included our rich background with the southeast coastal states of Virginia and North Carolina.
She told us she’d moved back to New Harmony after a several year absence, although her accent was a giveaway that she wasn’t raised there, but somewhere north of us. Turns out, she’s from South Bend, Indiana, a beautiful area on the St. Joseph River that’s home to the Studebaker National Museum, and of course the University of Notre Dame.
During our meal, she stopped by often and was as pleasant as could be. She said she loved to read, and at some point I asked her name. She said, “Ruth.” I got excited, and replied, “Oh! I know who you are! You’re the Ruth Dan Barton and Ann Rains asked me to interview!”
Yup, she was. I was so happy to finally get to meet her. Dan and Ann were on target knowing we’d hit it off with Ruth in a snap.
We made plans to meet up at her home in New Harmony, where she quarters with her son, daughter-in-law and some grandbabes. We showed up at 9 a.m. and she escorted us to the back patio, where she’d already been enjoying the beautiful weather, seated at a table, near the garden with a book and a fresh mug of coffee. Yup. Ruth was definitely our kinda people!
She invited Nee to take some shots of the beautiful garden while she shared much of her life’s story with us. If ever you have the same privilege, I’m confident you’ll be as enchanted with it as we are. She told of how she’d been working in food service for high-end businesses since her children were young. She spoke of her love for beaches, the sound of the surf, and how she became an avid collector of shells and beach glass, another passion she shares with Nee and I.
For fifteen years, she was the food services manager at New Harmony’s Red Geranium and the Bayou Grill. The position gave her an opportunity to make friends with both locals and the many tourists who visit the area season after season. Now, at the Red Wagon, she has similar opportunities and apparently hasn’t lost a bit of her finesse and flair with customer service, which comes from both great talent and a sincere interest and caring spirit for others.
Ruth showed interest in getting acquainted with the work of some of our favorite writers and websites. It felt so good to sit in such beautiful surroundings in the company of someone who shares our passion for many things, including, and especially, books.
She explained that her husband had died a few years ago, in a terrible storm that passed through New Harmony. He was fishing and it caused his boat to capsize. Ruth spoke from a broken, yet greatly comforted soul. She talked about Christ Jesus and how His continued presence has provided her with healing and joy while enduring painful heartaches.
Her testimony was soul-stirring and enhanced by the awareness of His sweet and gentle presence enveloping us during our visit. He is the Master of connections and once more has provided yet another developing friendship in our lives. I wish everyone could meet Ruth. She’s good people.
Our thanks to this lovely lady for her time and attention. We look forward to a continuing friendship and future get togethers over good coffee and good books!
To you, the reader, if you’re in the vicinity of Poseyville’s Red Wagon, please consider dropping in for some good food and maybe even a tour of their on site art exhibits,
The Red Wagon offers lots to choose from and their food is excellent, with several vegetarian and vegan options. The staff is friendly, interesting (seriously) and efficient. Past all that, I hope you'll get to meet Ruth during your visit. I know you'll think she's just as cool as we do!
That’s it for this one!
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