The door leading into Adele’s Restaurant in Carson City has beautifully etched glass inserted into the top half. It’s a door that says, “welcome.” That’s indeed how you feel when you enter this establishment. For not only is Adele herself and her staff congenial and friendly, so are her customers.
The first thing I noticed, when we bought our home here in the Fallon area, was our new front door. It also has a beautifully etched window in the front door. I like to think it also says “welcome.” I don’t have a problem going out to eat alone anymore, as I did when living alone in Carson City. I’m now living with my son Doug. That wasn’t always the case.
Writing previously about how it feels to be an older woman who’s alone is sometimes hard finding a nice place to eat where I didn’t feel like “that poor old lady by herself.” A friend, recently widowed, told me about this happening to her not too long ago in a restaurant in Carson City. I remembered visiting Adele’s alone and how enjoyable my visits had always been.
Those were busy days when I worked for the Reno newspaper. I enjoyed that wonderful feeling of entering Adele’s door. It was warm and inviting inside. It felt like home. They had a special menu on Fridays at the bar. The meal was delicious. I also enjoyed a martini and a glass of port wine with desert. There were always other patrons enjoying the bar.
Each and every time I felt part of the crowd, not just a woman alone. Recalling those days back in Carson began my journey into memories of today and yesterday about “doors.” I’ve often wondered how people with walkers, canes, wheelchairs and other cumbersome aids get inside some public buildings? Things are a bit better today, but sometime buildings have doors that a football halfback would have trouble opening, let alone someone in a wheelchair.
Doors open to more than buildings. They also open feelings. Doug and I open our back door, walking outside to view the stars. The sky is seems so much closer northern Nevada than in a lot of other places in the country, especially for one born in Philly near sea level. It’s amazing how crisp and clear the stars appear in the black of night without the interference of the lights or a city.
Entering our front door is always enjoyable, since it means we’re going back inside to play with our “puppies” Molly and Riley. Their tiny tails quivering, their joy at having their “daddy” and “grand mom” inside again is always fun to watch.
However, sometimes as we get older, there’s that awful feeling of going through a hospital or doctor’s office door not knowing what’s wrong or what will be the result of the visit.
There is, of course, that wonderful feeling of peace when entering a church, especially those with huge, big double doors with large door handles. I just love going into the First Presbyterian Church in or stopping to pray at Corpus Christi Catholic Church when in Carson, or the historic St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic cathedral in Reno.
Other times, swinging doors symbolize the Old West saloons that some people have added to the décor into their kitchens.
Saloon doors add a sense of humor, unless you’re a small child just learning to walk and constantly banging your head on the door’s bottom. Then there’re screen doors that always manage to squeak, and – when slammed shut – manage to convey the thought that it ‘s summertime even in winter. I remember, back in the east, when visiting a relative that their front door was one of those white double contraptions that state “we’re affluent.”
Inside their living room was a beautiful baby grand piano that added to the allure. Unfortunately, the meager meal they served wasn’t anything like it should’ve been. We always left still hungry and puzzled at the difference between that front door, that beautiful piano and that always-inadequate meal. One other door I’ll always remember fondly was a brass door that opens to a restaurant in Boise. I believe the establishment was called Jake’s.
Almost any day you could watch as one of the employees polished that brass to a brilliant shine. That’s a door that really said, “welcome.” I’ve gotten into the habit now of smiling when entering a door, expecting it to say “Welcome, please enjoy your stay.”
Edna Van Leuven is a Churchill County writer and columnist. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org