Sunday, March 13, 2016

Why, Yes, This Entire Thankful Post Is About My Dinner

If last week seemed to last a year, this week was a mere minute long. How does that happen? Maybe it was because the College Boy was home for spring break, and in the back of my mind, I kept telling myself I only had seven days with him home, then six, then five....

How about a Ten Things of Thankful about my dinner Saturday night? 

My mom hasn't been well since she fell at the end of October, and although she's doing much better now, when my dad called me earlier this week, my first reaction was to brace myself for some kind of bad news. Instead, he called to see if we wanted to go to dinner with him and my mom on Saturday night, which is two thankfuls right there, because (1) it wasn't bad news and (2) she's feeling up to going out somewhere.

See, there's this little town called Hume (population 325) about a 40 minute drive from my parents' home that has a little restaurant called Sisters & Friends. That alone is a Big Deal, as the town has a liquor store, a funeral home, a beauty salon, a grain elevator, a lumber yard/hardware store, a bank, a school, and post office and that's pretty much it. No groceries. No gasoline. On the second Saturday of every month, this little restaurant in this little town has all-you-can-eat boiled shrimp. And my dad is all about all-you-can-eat boiled shrimp.

"Downtown" Hume. I took these last summer,
hence, the green, leafy trees.

Once upon a time ago, there was a gas station here....

We trekked up to my parents' home, my husband, the College Boy, and I (daughter had a Big Event at school that she wanted to attend, so she didn't go with us). I have managed to win my son over to the wonderful music that was produced in the 70s and 80s, so we listened to that all the way up there, and he didn't make fun of my singing, unlike the one who didn't go with us often does.

The wheat fields are so lush and green, and even though signs of spring are popping out everywhere, the ground is still mostly brown. It was a gloomy, overcast day, but the green of the wheat still looked gorgeous against the still-brown pasture land and bare fields.

Taken from the car window, but you get the idea.

The main dining room in the restaurant was full when we got there, so we were seated in the back dining room. It is made out of a grain bin and it is awesome, although a long walk for my mom and her walker. The owner is a character, all 430 pounds of him (not an estimate, he brought it up), and wears overalls and a big beard and holds court at the cash register, and he unlocked a side door in the grain bin so we could get my mom back out to the car more easily.

The restaurant's main building.

The grain bin/dining room from the outside.

There are always pickled beets on the salad bar, and all the salads are made fresh in the kitchen. I will admit a little disappointment that there was no cornbread salad this time, but I made up for it with two kinds of potato salad, cole slaw with raisins and marshmallows in it (which sounds dreadful but was really good), pistachio salad (YOU know the one I'm talking about) and banana pudding.

My mom kept saying she was really hungry, which is terrific, as she has had little to no appetite for a number of months, and she ate three (small) plates I filled for her from the salad bar plus two large chicken strips (she's a huge fan of chicken strips).

My mom and the College Boy, inside the grain bin.

My dad, husband and son ate enough boiled shrimp to grow tails and feelers. (I had a hamburger steak, which I am terribly fond of, especially when wrapped in bacon, as they do here.)

My dad and husband in the grain bin. The empty
cottage cheese container is for shrimp shells.

On the trip to the restaurant, where we took all back roads, because my dad likes to take back roads, we met a grand total of two cars during the 45 minute drive. How many of you can say you drove for 45 minutes today and only saw two other cars? 

It was dark when we headed back home, and although we took a slightly more direct route back to my parents' home, half of it was on a two lane road through the countryside where we, again, met only one car and didn't hit any critters, although if you ask me, that raccoon was asking for it when he ran out in front of me like that. 

I'm also thankful that whatever that was on the side of the road (whose eyes were reflected in my headlights) didn't dart out in front of the car, because it was either a large deer (which means there were others behind him, as you never see just ONE deer) or a wolfman (my son's best guess), and neither would have been good with which to collide on a dark, country road.

I would have written this post last night,
but Ruby had other ideas.

Good company, (reasonably) good health, happy tummies all around, spring on the way, and I missed the raccoon. I'd say it was a good week!

Link up, yo.

Ten Things of Thankful

 Your hosts


  1. Sounds like a good week or a wonderful and thankful Saturday - now that town and the back roads sounds more like my speed and the shrimp boil sounds yummy too I know i would like the hamburger steak too, and all those salads...glad to hear your mom was up for a night out...yes i know too well about those brace yourself phone calls well my imagination does

    my mom doesn't eat like she use to, too... for the past two or three years stopped eating meat or some of it - she is on so many medication too maybe that has something to do with it -she sees a blood doctor to check her palates, or iron every few months, its always worrisome.

    this week flew so fast that i am not sure if i noticed any thankfuls hmmm they're there i know.

    oh btw, my kids make fun of my singing too and music choice - please my music is so much cooler than there's and basically everything i have James listen too he ends up liking ...oh boy!


    1. It was good, Marisa! Nothing like down home cooking, especially when someone else does the work and I just get to enjoy it!
      My mom has lost over 30 pounds since she fell, so it's a good thing to see her eat and enjoy food. She has had blood issues as well, plus copd and a pacemaker and is on scads of medications.
      I'm glad you found your thankfuls this week!
      I prefer to sing in the car all by myself, but hey, when it's a good song, you SING!

  2. Good for Mom for rallying! Sounds like a cool place although the photos look like the places they always stop in on scooby doo cartoons....45 min. And ONE car...

    1. The restaurant is not pretty from the outside, but what they did to the inside of that grain bin is pretty amazing, although you really can't see it. ONE car. Well, it was a pick up truck.

  3. Your trip to dinner sounds like it was a grand adventure! Taking back roads almost always more interesting and more enjoyable. And the grain room looks like it was a great spot to dine in.

    1. It's always an adventure when my family gets in a car together! And yes, it's pretty amazing how a grain bin can be turned into a dining room.

  4. I'll admit, I don't quite understand the love so many have of wrapping everything in bacon and I am more of a 80s than a 70s music fan.
    But sounds like a lovely family outting for all of you.
    Glad you met nothing too menacing on that empty dark country road.
    Have a lovely week.

    1. I don't like bacon on everything, but it sure is good on a hamburger steak!
      I prefer late 70s music (yes, I admit it, I like disco) to early 70s.
      It was a fun outting and good to get my mom out of the house for something other than a doctor's appointment.
      I'm really glad it wasn't a wolfman on the side of the road....

  5. This is beautiful, Dyanne. Just beautiful. Mom being up to dinner and having a good appetite is worth the whole post, but it's filled with so much more wonderful. College boy loving great music, time with family, grass roots America...sigh. Gorgeous.

    1. It was SO nice to get her out of the house and do something fun! And it was about as much of a grass roots America experience as you can get!

  6. I'm glad your Mom is feeling better. Winter is a tough time to recuperate but warm weather, and budding flowers will surely help expedite the process!
    Now that is one small town, Dyanne. Wow.
    Sounds like you guys had a great time. I'm with your Dad, back roads are the way to go :)(unless you're in a hurry lol)
    I've never heard of cornbread salad. Hm...will have to look it up..

    1. Oh, me, too! She enjoyed seeing all the flowers in bloom and the trees leafing out.
      That town is truly in the middle of nowhere farm country. Not very many of those places still have their own schools; they usually consolidate. This town has managed to keep their school going.
      You cannot be in a hurry when driving on two-lane country roads. Not safely, anyway.
      Cornbread salad is delicious and won't make you think "salad" if you think salads are, oh, vegetables or fruit or something.

  7. What an adventuresome day

    1. It was! OH, and I forgot that we saw a bald eagle on our way to dinner! I guess I should have included that in my post!

  8. What a great post! Of course, you're allowed to base an entire post around one meal.
    I can't remember the last time I drove for 45 minutes and only saw 2 cars. The next thing I know, you will tell me that you not only know how to turn on the high beams in your car, but that you actually have to use them!

    1. Well, it was a really good hamburger steak.... :)
      If it hadn't been for the high beams, I would not have seen Ricky Raccoon in time to slow down. I have to use them just to go to Walmart at night from my house. Do you remember when the button to turn them on used to be on the floor to the left of the brake?

  9. the scale of this tale totally knocks me out! the distances and the numbers (of people)…. now I think I understand what it is I see out the window of a plane (not that I've done a proper road trip in too many years). the incredible distances between roads and houses.
    While here in New England, we have a certain percentage of small towns and villages, what you describe above is just… ok, they have a restaurant. That implies that people can afford to eat out, on occasion, but where do they go to work (in order to earn the money to pay for the meal?)
    very true about the deer, the first thing I do when I see a deer cross in front of me is look where it came from, for the rest of the …herd, group, pack…. posse yeah, "that posse of deer what nearly ran into my car!"

    1. You really need to get out of your little corner of the world and head west, Clark. Lots of real estate here!
      The school district has quite a few employees. The little businesses there have employees. And people drive to other towns to work. The nearest town is maybe 20 miles away (population 1200).
      Deer are never loners. Oh, and I saw an owl standing on the side of the road. It had to be at least a foot and a half tall.

  10. This is pretty much 80-90% of the small town life that is Nebraska. Here, we (as in my family, friends, acquaintances, etc) will travel 20 miles to a TEENY-WEENY town of Strang (population 28. I am not even kidding) to go to a nice little restaurant called Bubba's. One thing making Bubba's memorable is it's Coca Cola decor. On the outside, it just looks like a metal Quonset building. We will also travel 23 miles in another direction to a the little town of Milligan (population 273) to go to a restaurant called "An Evening with Friends". It has charm and warmth and GOOD food! Right smack dab in the middle of the place is a log cabin...a real log cabin inside the restaurant..and you can have private parties in there. It's rustic and just a little bit more 'upscale'--the type of place you can wear a pretty dress and heels or jeans and a t-shirt and you'd fit right in either way. In a town just 8 miles away from us, McCool Junction (population 384) is a nice place called Kerry's. They have a prime rib buffet every Sunday and is a very nice place to eat and hang out. Great service, great food! So, what you describe is nothing out of the ordinary for me.
    To answer Clark (comment above me), people have jobs here --- we work at hospitals, banks, courthouses, restaurants, prisons and factories. We are farmers and lawyers and church office managers (like me!);) We are mechanics and auto parts salesmen. We are retail store managers (like my husband), we are car salesmen, pharmacists, librarians, postal workers and daycare providers. Name it, and we've got it. Probably. ;)
    Dyanne -- you may have inspired me to write a post about all our surrounding town restaurants. ;)

    1. Kari, I thought of you when I was writing this! Little towns often have hidden jewels that city folk don't realize they're missing. I think I want to come to Nebraska and go on an eating tour with you!

  11. Sounds delightful, and I'm SO glad your mom's doing well :D

  12. Oh, I can not tell you how much this post makes me miss my mom and dad. Enjoy every moment you get with these two!