There are two places I pass that I’ve always said “I want to stop here some day.” One is Dean’s Diner in Blairsville, and the other is Gene and Boots Candies, in the vicinity of Murrysville. In more recent years, a huge indoor flea market has opened near the diner, and every time we pass it, both to and from Pittsburgh, my husband or I will say, “Some time, we have to stop there.”
That day came yesterday. We stopped at all three places.
We were not disappointed. There was one enormous main room, and a maze of smaller rooms all around it. We set off to see what treasures we could find.
I get all gaga over old dishes. So much so that over the years, I’ve probably had to give away most of what I’ve bought to make room for the latest things I drag home. At one time, I was collecting six or seven patterns. I’ve given away about half of them, and I’m only actively collecting one pattern. I’ve promised my husband that I won’t buy anything else unless I really, really, really just have to have it.
As we wandered through the displays, I kept my eye out for the one pattern I do still collect. We passed table after table filled with dishes and glassware, but no blue Currier and Ives.
One look at the prices on these dishes, however, made me whisper in my husband’s ear, “This lady knows exactly what she has.” The prices, although reasonable to serious collectors, were way beyond my budget. We had already spent most of our weekend travel money during our visit with family the past two days. It would come down to a choice between buying the several serving pieces I was practically drooling over, or the table.
As much as I wanted those dishes, my husband cared nothing about them, and it would be a splurge just for me. The same amount of money could buy the table, which we would both enjoy. He’s been so patient with me and my dishes over the years; he deserved the table.
He bargained down the price of the table, and I went to move the car closer for him to pack it gently in the back of our station wagon. Next stop, Dean’s Diner.
My husband and I love diners and diner food about as much as we love flea markets. Our third stop was shaping up to be the highlight of the day.
Dean’s is the kind of diner that automatically comes to your mind’s eye when you think of a diner, with a counter and stools on one side and rows of booths on the other.
We each ordered a diner classic—hamburger and fries for my husband, and hot meatloaf sandwich smothered in gravy for me. I hadn’t had such tasty meatloaf since the last time I made it myself.
And to tell you the truth, it was more special to me to stop on this day than all those other times I’ve passed these places. I don’t know anyone else who would have enjoyed them as much as my husband did. I was so happy to experience these places for the first time with him. He won’t travel to abroad with me, but he’s happy to explore close to home. I’ve always missed him on my faraway travels; my heart was happy to share these local adventures with him.
I think I’ll go see if he wants another chocolate truffle…
All photos from iStockphoto.com