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Flying is fun. There is nothing more exhilarating than takeoff, more thrilling than finding a thermal or more peaceful than the views from five-hundred feet. Since the only thing missing while airborne is food, d and I often stop to eat after a flight.

Although we try to vary our menu, time of day and launch site often dictate our options. After our flight on Sunday morning we stopped at local restaurant for the breakfast buffet: biscuits, sausage gravy, grits, bacon, sausage (links and patties), french toast, potatoes, fruit; $5.99.

I had been to the restaurant several times on earlier trips but d had not yet had the pleasure. When we first purchased the property we had stopped a couple of times at the local diner but it has since closed (it is up for sale if anyone wants to open a diner out in the country).

This place is country all the way from the hitching posts in the parking lot to the wine bottle holder made from horseshoes that sits on top of the buffet.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy this kind of country. There are no airs here; when you walk in the front door you are part of the family. People speak freely; there’s nothing whispered or hushed about conversations. There are no secrets.

The first time I ate here I listened to several farmers discussing tomato crops and how any farmer in Florida with a tomato crop was going to make a lot of money. This was right after the hurricanes and tomatoes were selling at four times the pre-hurricane price.

It’s a good thing that I didn’t run out and plant the farm full of tomatoes because a couple of months later I listened to the same farmers complaining that everyone had overplanted and now the only people making money on tomatoes were the grocery stores that were buying at all time low prices but still charging hurricane prices.

A lot can be learned while dining here.

As we started in to our second helping (hey, flying works up an appetite and isn’t better to be slightly over the weight range stated on the wing?), some new patrons arrived and were in the process of saying hello to everyone when the waitress scurried over to them. “I know you are going to wanna take a look at these,” she said plunking something hard and heavy down on the table in front of them.

“What are they?”

“Stones!” she said as proud as she could be. “Bladder stones!”

This is not a big restaurant and we were only two tables away. We weren’t being nosy, it was just impossible not to overhear. Even so, I was positive that I was not hearing things correctly and leaned over to d and asked what those things were.

I had heard correctly, they were bladder stones. And they were huge – at least two inches in diameter. Again, I wasn’t being nosy it’s just hard not to see them when they are being held overhead in what appeared to be an attempt to view them in the best possible light.

Having grown up in a much more urban environment, I couldn’t understand what would prompt anyone to want to look at someone else’s bladder stones. And why they would want to do so before enjoying the buffet was a little more perplexing.

The guests were taking it all in stride and were right there with the questions which helped to clarify that these stones did not come from the waitress, they came from her dog who for months had been “squatting as if she were going to pee but she would only go a little bit.” After the vet got the results from the x-rays he operated. No, it wasn’t he local vet, the dog was taken to the vet “in town” who thinks the source of these stones could be diet. He’s checking into it.

“No, I don’t think she could’a passed these, she’s only 50 pounds.”

“Jesse says that he could facet these and make some jewelry out of them.”

“Nice part is she’s all better now. She’s been peeing with no problems at all.”

“Would you like some more coffee?”

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