I'm pretty sure the woman on the left is on to me. On reflection, I'm glad all I got was an evil stare.
This isn't a good picture by any stretch of the imagination - just a fast-grab from my smartphone while we waited to be seated at an International House of Pancakes restaurant in south Florida on a bright Saturday morning last December.
Yet the more I take it in, the more I see. Because places like this don't just serve food. They're the backdrop of the tiny life stories we all too often fail to record or remember.
So while we waited in line and bantered with strangers - because that's what you do at IHOPs no matter where they're located - I thought a photo would be in order.
Just behind my glaring new friend on the left, an older gentleman in red flannel sits with his freshly-coiffed wife, the walker a reminder that she's overcome her own challenges just to be here. Behind them, a man in a black baseball cap eats alone as he reads the paper. I smile at the quaintness. In the adjacent booth, a friendly argument seems to rage, with three old friends speaking animatedly with their hands, their voices drifting all the way to the entrance. I'm sure they'll settle down once the pancake stacks arrive.
I could go on. I think about the countless stories unfolding in this one scene, and how fascinating it would be to know them all.
Before long, we get to the front of the line, and soon enough we're seated, our own story ready to be told, perhaps in full view of someone else at the front looking for ways to connect with strangers.
This lousy picture turns out to be one of the most important ones I take this day, a reminder to look for the stories around us, to hold onto those moments that, at first glance, don't seem to be worthy of memory.
In the end, though, every moment is worthy of memory, even if you have to tick off a woman waiting for her pancakes.
#delray #beach #delraybeach #florida #fla #road #trip #travel #travelphotography #travelgram #vacation #explore #ihop #restaurant #food #foodporn #throwback #random #stranger #photography #google #pixel2 #teampixel #photooftheday #instagood #nofilter #nofilterneeded #lifeinthemargins #family #everything