Hope is a fragile thing.
Call me cynical, but hope always comes with a healthy does of skepticism and superstition, if not full on fear. The fear of our hopes being dashed surrounds us; we grow up with it, being told nonsense like if you say your birthday wish out loud, it won't come true - as if there's some kind of malevolent cosmic eavesdropper just waiting for you to mess up.
But such superstition is understandable, given how much it hurts when things don't work out. There's been a lot of that these days. But then there are some days....
November 4th was no ordinary Tuesday. In a month when we're accustomed to freezing temperatures and snow days, us Clevelanders enjoyed a balmy, sunny, 68 degrees. In a time when gas prices have reached into the $2.50s, I happily filled up my tank for only $1.99 / gallon. And in a country whose citizens has been divided, subjugated, and lied to the people rose up with a resounding "yes we can", a call to arms for action and change.
Yes, on November 4th, I saw a lot of things I really wasn't sure I'd ever see, despite how much I wished I would. Maybe that's part of the reason I didn't even carry my camera with my that day, superstition. As if any attempt to document the day might've landed me in the cross-hairs of that malevolent eavesdropper in the sky. In any event, it's a real shame I didn't have my camera, for I came across something truly remarkable, something I really never thought I'd see: a menu at a normal - everyday, white-bread type, near fast food joint - restaurant with a gluten free menu printed on the back cover of every menu handed out to every patron. Seriously. And where does such a place exist? Eat'n Park.
No, really. Eat'n Park. Imagine my surprise when I flipped to the back cover to read "For our celiac customers...." and in addition to a brief description of the grains that endanger celiacs and an invitation to ask your server that your meal be prepared gluten free was a listing of 15 or so options.
I happily enjoyed two poached eggs, a baked potato, and a fruit cup, but there were far more interesting options on their celiac menu - omelets, fish fillets, burgers, fajita salads, and the like. I'm not saying that Eat'n Park is great food, but sometimes good food will do. And good safe food? You can't go wrong. As any roadtrippin' Midwestern/Mid-Atlantic state-ers know, Eat'n Park practically lines the highways from the far boarder of Pennsylvania straight through Indiana - and isn't it nice to know you can stop in at any one of them and get a celiac safe meal?
I sure think it is. And if Eat'n Park can offer a gluten free meal, maybe change really has come. Now, if only they could gluten-free-ize those famous smiley face cookies...