I’d invited another couple to come over and visit a while yesterday, setting the visit late enough to be after supper and early enough to leave some evening left. They had, indeed, already eaten when they arrived. We hadn’t.
We had a good visit, sharing stories of growing up and raising children, the sort of talk that helps folks get to know each other and lays the foundation for deeper bonds later. They seemed to enjoy the increase in acquaintance as much as we did; they stayed until just after nine.
By that time, I figured our favorite restaurant would be closed already but decided to call them anyway. The manager answered the phone. In response to my question, Rafael answered, “We’re open until 9:30.” I thanked him and hung up the phone. When I told Randa what time they closed, she observed, “That’s only fifteen minutes from now.”
“Yeah,” I agreed, resigning myself to a peanut butter sandwich.
But then, I remembered that El Maguey’s also provides carryout. I called back and placed our order. Just as I was finishing the list, Rafael recognized my voice; we’ve been regular customers there for eight years now. “Is this the man who just bought the house over on 36 Highway?” he asked. I confessed it was.
“You can come on in,” he invited, “That’s fine. We’re open for you.”
Indeed they were. When we walked in five minutes later, our table was ready for us. Plates, drinks and pico de gallo were waiting; the quesadillas and grilled shrimp were there in a couple more minutes. While the other customers were finishing their last bits and leaving, we started eating. While his workers were busy closing and cleaning, Rafael came by two or three times to see if we needed anything else. It was obvious that he was delighted to have us come in, even though it meant working a little longer.
Our friend, Jesus, is no less eager to receive us as his guests. No matter how late it is.