One of the most pleasurable activities that I like to experience is dining on the waterfront.
There is a large lake on a chain of lakes that my best friend and I enjoy going to, for not only does it have the beauty and serenity that we like, but there is also a small out-of-the-way restaurant on its shores.
It is a simple place and nothing fancy at all about it. The white frame building is old – perhaps circa 1940s. Behind it is a row of two buildings that house little rooms, perhaps kitchenettes for fishermen in another time.
The restaurant itself has a small bar. Wooden tables are scattered about the two dining rooms.
Outside, there is a seating area with tables and a counter where diners can eat looking over the piers and across the great expanse of the lake. From time to time, we spotted alligators and fishing birds. The restaurant sort of reminds of me of Mildred’s restaurant in James M. Cain’s book, Mildred Pierce, or the restaurant in another one of his books, The Postman Always Rings Twice. The restaurant we frequent has that cozy, post-war feel.
The menu itself is basic and reminiscent of home cooking, with offerings of simple cocktails to wet your whistle.
Our usual spot is a table for two looking out towards the water. Sometimes we see fish jumping in arcs, playfully energetic. Occasionally, we spot water birds darting in and out of the water, looking for a meal or just sitting on the piers, wings outstretched and drying off.
There are always some sort of boats skimming across the waters. Some come from the homes directly across the far side of the lake, and some from any one of the another lakes in the chain. When the boat captain ties the boat to the pier and the passengers alight, there usually is laughter and excitement as they walk down the boardwalk and into the restaurant.
Over the speakers in the ceiling, music gently plays, loud enough to hear, yet soft enough to carry on conversations without yelling across the table.
There is something calming about being near the water that takes away the stress and clamor of everyday life. Nothing else is important but the immediate experience and the topics of conversation at the table.
Indeed, this is one of my favorite ways to spend some wonderful time on a Friday afternoon or a Saturday night. Not only do I benefit from the atmosphere and good friendship, but it also clears my mind a bit to gather and clear my thoughts and get lost in a quiet world, with the benefit of sparking some creativity and cleansing.
It’s about peace, calm, and a sort of escapism, of course. It is good to periodically break away from the world’s insanity.
✿●▬●✿ ©2023 The Oasis at Four Queen Palms ✿●▬●✿
Excerpt from my book, “Your Table is Ready,” and my new book coming up, “A Hopeful World,” ©2023