Sunday, January 24, 2010

Little bit of Germany

We made a big step last night. Cooper, Katie and I returned to one of our favorite restaurants -- Bavarian Grill in Plano. We've never been without Steve before, and I honestly thought we'd never go again.

We have great memories from the restaurant -- celebrating birthdays, dancing the Chicken Dance, laughing with friends, remembering our trip to Munich in 1999 and Steve's high school adventures in Germany.

We shared most of those meals with Will, Holly and Conor. When they invited us to join them this weekend, I said yes, even though I was hesitant without dear Steve.

The night was wonderful -- even with a longer-than-usual wait and slow kitchen.

The kids watched for the train to chug by overhead. We applauded festive oompa tunes. When dinner still wasn't there, the three adults were thankful to have three iPhones to hand over to three restless children.

We devoured pretzel rolls and sausage and cabbage and potatoes.

We told Cooper the story of the extra-long French fry. When he was about 2, Cooper was impressed by the world's longest French fry, right on his plate. He waved it around and then poked a nearby patron under the arm. Holly remembers that I asked Steve to ask Cooper to stop, but Steve was laughing too hard to react.

I thought about the night that we all balanced spoons on our noses. How Steve and Will would dare each other to finish their wurst platters. And how those two would enjoy big steins of beer together (before Steve stopped drinking altogether after the infamous Alamo Bowl 2005 incident -- a story for another day).

I am thankful for so many memories of Steve. And I am thankful for the opportunity to keep living and enjoying family and friends, even without Steve right here.

Conor, Katie and Cooper

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