During the early years of my marriage, going out to eat happened every three or four months when my parents came to town for a visit. Now, my parents insisted that they came to San Antonio to see us, but they always made a run to the commissary for non-perishable groceries, and they always came back to our house with an entire Bill Miller Family Meal Deal. That meant tender brisket or juicy sausage coupled with potato salad and tart vinegar coleslaw. We piled our plates high with their special pickle and onion mixture, pinto beans, and warm brown bread. The sweetest tea on earth comes from this restaurant, and my parents would bring it home in buckets. One lemon meringue pie added to the tradition.
After my father died, Mom moved to San Antonio. She shifted from wanting Bill Miller’s once every few months to wanting it every week. She started a new tradition. On Sundays she would come over to our house to use our washer and dryer and insist on providing our meal for the day. Occasionally, she’d yearn for an Arby’s sandwich, but most of the time she wanted her brisket and slaw.
Today, Paul wanted a break from his music studio and suggested making a Bill Miller’s run. Mom can no longer eat the sausage and brisket. She’s shifted to their chop—a delightful mixture of meat and bar-be-q sauce that’s absolutely perfect for her chewing and swallowing capabilities. We discovered that adding it to a baked potato makes it even more filling for her. Our tradition shifts, as it should, to embrace the new realities of our family life.