Today I took my daughter, Rebecca, and 3 ½ week old granddaughter, Frankie, to the Zodiac Room in Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue, the quintessential place for ladies who like to “lunch”. When I first suggested this to my daughter, it was really just out of convenience. Neiman’s was having a denim sale and I was in desperate need of a new pair of jeans. As most women would probably agree, this ranks up there with shopping for bras and bathing suits. I find this task overwhelming and depressing! Rebecca has an amazing eye for fashion and knows exactly what works for me.
I’ve been coming here for years. Who can resist the warm popovers served with strawberry butter and a cup of chicken consommé? As I sat there looking across the table at my daughter and granddaughter, a flood of childhood memories came rushing back to me.
When I was a little girl, my mom and grandma would take me for lunch at the famous and iconic Walnut Room in Marshall Fields. I hadn’t thought of this for years and now it seemed like only yesterday. I can even remember what I ordered: a cup of cream of mushroom soup and the Fields special sandwich- buttered rye bread, topped with a wedge of iceberg lettuce, egg, swiss cheese, 2 slices of bacon, and thousand island dressing. Back then, I’m sure I thought nothing more than I got to play hooky from school and spend the afternoon shopping and going out for lunch, but I now realize that those outings meant so much more.
All at once, I am overcome with so many feelings and emotions. I find myself missing my grandmother so much and wishing she could be here to see me following in her footsteps. I also want to call my mom and tell her how much I love her and what an amazing grandma she is to my children.
There will be many more lunches to come and one day, when Frankie is a grandma, I hope the memories of these special days will come rushing back to her.
About the author: Caroline Druker is an empty nester who is the happiest when her flock returns for famly dinners.