by Jon Kammeyer

One day I was going to go down to Old Country Buffet and I thought that it was going to be amazing. I was anticipating it to be the best thing I’ve ever tasted, and besides that it was all you can eat. We were on the way to Lewiston and I was so hungry that I probably could have eaten a horse. The ride down to Lewiston was long, hot, and miserable. When we were coming into Lewiston the famous smell of the paper mill hit my nose. Its so gross that it really makes me not want to go down there, but I do anyways because I love going places. Also, along with the horrible smell, my ears were so clogged form the rapid elevation drop that I couldn’t hear a 357 going off next to my head. Anyways I was still excited to go to the buffet.

The temperature difference between the top of the grade and the bottom is so drastic that it overwhelms the human body until you get climatized to the air thickness and heat. Sometimes I like to go down the old Lewiston grade because it gives you a better look at what traveling to lewiston was really like back in the day. As the day went on we shopped at Costco, Walmart, Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, and Big R (when it was still open).

After we finished our shopping we went to the park down by the snake river. It was a little too cold to go swimming but I didn’t care, I changed into my swimsuit and plunged right into the river. The murky green water was so disgusting that it probably would have turned other people away, but I wasn’t afraid, I knew what I was getting into. The way the water shined from the sunlight hitting it and reflecting it into my eyeballs was so blinding that I had to be able to watch where I was going so I could plunge into the water. I had been waiting for the day to be able to swim in a river, I was so ready to get the water all over my body and feel the the coolness of the water surrounding my body. It was so cold after about fifteen minutes that I couldn’t handle it any longer because my body was about to turn into an ice cube. If i would have stayed in any longer my core temp would have probably dropped about six to seven degrees.

The whole reason I was excited about going to the buffet was because I remember going with my grandma when I was six. We were up in Spokane visiting my uncle and she wanted to take me out to lunch. She asked me where I wanted to go and I told her I didn’t care and to just take me somewhere good. So she decided to take me to Old Country Buffet. I remember walking into the restaurant and the amazing smell of bacon and fried chicken caressing my nose and me almost faint. It was so painfully delicious that it made me almost start floating in mid air following the scent like in a cartoon. The sudden thought came to my head that this was the most amazing day of my life, out with me grandma sitting right across from her. She was wearing a bright orange and yellow shirt with the normal black pants she always wore when we went out to eat.

The conversations I have with her are always the most uplifting and kind hearted ones. She knows exactly what to say to make you feel good about yourself. We sat there for probably about twenties minutes reveling in the memories of what we used to do together. Like one time in Tekoa, Washington where she raised all of her kids, and we were going to the tavern so we could have lunch then go play bingo at the local nursing home. We always walked to where we were we were going because Tekoa is not very big at all. You could walk anywhere in just about five minutes. So her and I were walking to the tavern and she told me to be on my best behavior or I was going to go home and take a nap. Of course it’s what she said so I had to obey, because if I didn’t I’d get my mouth slapped and washed out with soap or go to bed without supper.

My grandma, besides being raised in The Depression, she was always the sweetest person you’d ever met. She and her friend Joanne would always hang out every Sunday at 1pm and drink their daily amounts of tea and watch their T.V. shows. She and I are so close and loved spending time with each other, thats why I was excited to go out to lunch with her. As her and I went to the buffet to get a plate of food, I was stuck with so many options on what to have. I could’ve had salad, multiple types of soup, fried chicken, mashed potatoes, baklava, french dipped sandwiches, and a whole buffet strictly to dessert.

The dessert buffet was so amazing. It had four different types of pie, a machine that had three types of ice cream also the buffet had the freshest brownies that were so gooey and delicious; especially with a huge dollop of vanilla ice cream on top. My mind was full of ideas as far as to do with the many options in front of me that when the opportunity came that I could get dessert I was so overwhelmed with the thoughts my young mind was giving me. Thats why I was so excited when I figured out that after shopping we were going to Old Country Buffet. Finally we were on our way to the buffet. It felt like eternity driving from Costco in Clarkston to the buffet in Lewiston. On our way up the hill I was talking my head off the whole way in anticipation of getting to the buffet.

As we were rounding the corner to the buffet my peripheral vision noticed a “Closed For Good’ sign hung in front of the window and door. My heart sank. You could hear the sound of my heart hitting my stomach from the back of the car. My body started to tremble and the disappointment soared through my body, as fast as I could think of the next thing to do I began to cry. My whole days work was for nothing. Everything I was looking forward to gone, down the drain, like a magician making something disappear. I was told that i would be going to the buffet after we went shopping, and look it was closed for good.

My feelings at that moment where so up and down that I didn’t know what to think. I couldn’t imagine the reason that God was doing this to me. I started thinking of what I did to deserve this and I couldn’t think of any reason I was being tortured. My mind soaring through the clouds, the far out galaxies trying, wondering why. The feelings of nothingness. Why in the world this could of happened to me and not someone else. No it had to happen to me I don’t know why, but it did. The lost ambition, the devastation in my eyes, the sorrow my heart felt, the whole reason I wanted to go down there, had gone down down the drain.

I was so disappointed, but as we left Lewiston and the smell of Lewiston left my nose I knew everything would be okay because I have my family and I’m always grateful for the things that happen in my life. I knew at that moment that everything happens for a reason I was okay with the buffet being closed.

(Read more on his blog: bigchedda.blogspot.com/)


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