Thursday, November 14, 2013

20. Good-Bye Ranchouse; Hello Crowley's...August 1964...

I crawled into Joyce's hide-a-bed and slept soundly and safely for most of the day.

This is probably August 2nd or 3rd and someone else is on his way to Estes Park with his new bride.

How will I break this awful news to him?  Certainly he will be so disappointed in me.  And what am I going to do now?

More of the story next time...
When I woke up at the Bennett home, Joyce and I began to talk.   She was not surprised about my situation.  She told me that this same thing happened each year at Ranchouse Restaurant.  And she told me it would probably be quite possible to get hired at another restaurant as she knew that traditionally college students were quitting and heading home in early August.  She had a place in mind and said she'd take me job hunting the next day.  She was always joyfully positive.  It was so comfortable to be around her.  Though I was hurting because of my circumstances, her words buoyed my spirits.

Since my housing had ended as well as my job, I also needed to find a place to live.  As soon as I contacted my sister, she told me that a girl from her cabin had just moved out so I would have a place to stay at Webb Cottage if my next employer did not provide housing.

And it was to this emotionally difficult situation that my brother and his bride arrived.  They had been invited to stay in the little trailer on the Bennett's property so they found me there with them when they arrived.  It was so wonderful to see them and hear about their wedding and trip so far.  But it didn't take long for them to learn about my unwarranted, unwanted status.

I was more than ready to share all the painful details and my brother listened.  It is embarrassing for me now to recall how insensitive I must have been to him and Carolyn and their desire for privacy and time alone.  But because of the ache in my being caused by what I considered unfair job loss, I seemed to need to pour out what I considered to be shameful hurt and pain. I'm not sure how long we talked but my memory estimates that we conversed long into the night.  This was not unusual for my family but it was thoughtless of me considering my brother's new allegiance to his wife.  I have apologized to them in later years and time has erased whatever damage may have been done to our friendship. They were and have always been gracious.

For me, the timing of their arrival and our lengthy conversation was strategic.  Having their kindness, encouragement, support and advice provided what was needed for me to begin to heal and move forward as I needed to do.  Their presence was God's mercy and grace for me in a time of unanticipated pain and loss.

So as Jim and Carolyn headed into Rocky Mountain National Park the next morning, Joyce and I headed to Crowley's Restaurant.  Joyce knew the Crowley's and introduced me to them.  They were looking for another waitress for the morning shift from 6:00 am to 2:00 pm.  I was hired and started working the next day.  They did not provide housing so I moved into Webb Cottage with my sister.  My new room was only a few blocks from Crowley's restaurant.

I was extremely relieved to have found another job and place to live so quickly.  Certainly God had  opened those doors for me.  I knew I would probably not make as much money working this shift as I had when working the dinner hour, but I was grateful for my new job and transitioned to the new restaurant quite easily.

The atmosphere at Crowley's was much different than the atmosphere had been at Ranchouse.  Mr. Crowley was a cook and Mrs. Crowley the hostess.  Both were warm and welcoming to customers and to their employees.  Mr. Crowley laughed as I verbally turned in some of my breakfast orders.  He thought I had an accent and chuckled each time I ordered "a bowl of oats" as a breakfast item. It was more fun and not as stressful to work there.

I had learned that all the other girls that had been fired at Ranchouse had packed their bags and headed home.  I wondered how the restaurant could stay open because I knew they must be very low on staff.

I would get some update on their situation soon.  More about that next time.

No comments: