It’s not every day you get to be in the presence of a true service hero. Susan and I had that pleasure last evening. We are enjoying a few days in the Texas Hill Country residing at Serenity Farmhouse Inn just outside of Wimberley, Texas.
After an active day we decided to visit The Leaning Pear restaurant based on a recommendation from our SFI next door neighbors. Wimberley is one of the many small towns scattered across the hill country and quite honestly our expectations were not that high. Little did I know we were in for a service experience for the ages.
From the moment you drive up to The Leaning Pear, you know it is different. The building is modern, kind of funky looking; in a town where everything is old and somewhat dilapidated. When we walked in we were greeted and seated immediately by a very pleasant young lady. At this point, we were both feeling pleased with our decision. Within minutes our server greeted us in a warm, engaging manner. Her smile lit up the room. Instantly we could tell she was something special. We ordered entree salads and each of us indulged in a glass of Cabernet. The food was delicious, the wine superb and the service spot on. Each time our server made an appearance at our table we participated in the typical guest/server small talk.
Her first name is Stormy complemented by her middle name “Monday”. Her Mom was a huge fan of The Blues hence the name. No doubt the intention was to provide her daughter with a unique and meaningful name. Little did Mom know, once Stormy was old enough to go to school, the kids would make fun of her because of her unusual name. This caused Stormy to become hesitant and to shy away from meeting new people. It became obvious to her Dad that Stormy was struggling. They sat down and had a conversation that literally changed her life. He told her to stand up and be proud of her name. Don’t ever let anyone make you feel “less than” because of your name or for any other reason. Boy did she ever heed his advice.
There’s so much more to her story. We learned she joined the Coast Guard at the tender age of 18 and was trained to be a medic. While Stormy spared us the details, many times during her 18 years in the guard, she and her team were first responders in tragic situations. We knew she had experienced life from an uncommon perspective which today is part of her constitution. This is one of those rare individuals who is proud, humble and driven by her higher purpose. Stormy thrives on serving – it’s in her DNA.
She has returned to Wimberley to take care of her 70 year old Dad who is an ailing Vietnam veteran. Again few details were shared but you know this man has been through a living hell. Like so many who served in Nam he’s suffering now for the sacrifices he made for his country over 40 years ago. You can tell their relationship is grounded in mutual respect and an unwavering love for one another. She’s committed to be by her Dad’s side until he takes his last breath. She sees it not as an obligation but as an honor to be of service. What else would you expect from this ray of sunshine named Stormy!?
Oh and by the way, Stormy is a single Mom whose son is now 26 years old. Her Dad took care of him while she was in boot camp for the Coast Guard. Since then he has been with her every step of the way. One final footnote… The owners of The Leaning Pear trust her to be the person in charge of the restaurant when they are unable to be there! Go figure…
We could have gabbed all night. When it was time for us to get out of her hair to allow her to perform her closing duties, we took this selfie and we each gave her the biggest hug. Thank you for your service Stormy! Hopefully, someday, our paths will cross again.