Tasting is my frame of reference. The food thing, for sure, and beverage, certainly, but today, I can taste it all: I can taste autumn, not just because the Autumnal Equinox is upon us, but because, for two days now, the wind that’s blown across me as I left home or work WASN’T HOT. Why I still live in Tucson after all the years of dreading summer was beyond me until I remembered that feeling that one gets the first couple of days on which you’re not absolutely drained thick, heavy not-really-monsoon-season air alternating with days of uncomfortably hot winds. It’s amazing.
I can taste getting out from under the staffing issues that have vexed and bedeviled us for somewhere between months and years now. We’ve placed a few ads, as we’ve steadily done for ages now, but somehow, grownups have been responding. Out of nowhere we’ve suddenly gotten resumes from people who’ve worked in restaurants before, restaurants where the kitchen crew doesn’t have to wear paper hats and schedule around prom. And little by little, we’re assembling a team again, a stronger one composed of adults who don’t lay their problems at the feet of their managers but rather solve them themselves.
I can taste the return from the last of the managers’ vacations- they’re all nearly back from their respective getaways and I’m nearly back to doing one job rather than two or three. I may even get out of town myself.
In the meantime, we’re winding down the summer with a Saturday wine tasting, as we’re apt to do,
and planning the changes for our October menu, rounding up potential guests for wine dinners, and hoping against hope to settle into a routine that no longer includes panic as a daily constituent. We’re sending you good wishes, and hoping to keep some for ourselves, and for those of you for whom this is a new year, and even for those of you for whom it isn’t, we’re hoping and wishing that this year is the one where we all get to experience that Tucson end-of-summer feeling where the thing that’s been relentlessly taking the stuffing out of you suddenly isn’t anymore, and even if it’s not perfect, the sudden absence of hot wind in your face makes it feel like you can gather yourself and walk sure-footedly into better days. Wishing you all the best days you’ve had in a while.