Eating out doesn’t illicit the same excitement for me that it once did.  Not since I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant.  Do you know how much wheat is in so many of the foods we eat?  Look at the labels on the items you purchase.  It is often difficult to tell if there is any wheat in foods in restaurants.  Some are obvious…nothing coated with wheat flour and fried.  Some are not.  Wheat in tomato soup?

Fortunately, there are many tasty gluten-free foods on the market.  Some of the brands I find tasty are Glutino and Schar/Udi’s.  Betty Crocker makes brownie, cake, and chocolate chip cookie mixes.  The other day, Pilot brought home a package of Enjoy Life Gingerbread Spice Cookies.  De-licious.

On my recent trip to visit my mother, Sissy and I stopped at an Arby’s.  Sissy wanted to try their Asiago sandwich and orange crème shake.  Because I usually have no problem with cross-contamination, I can get a sandwich and take the bun off, or ask that the sandwich be served without the bun.  (Try that the next time you go to a fast food joint, and see how quickly it throws a cog in the wheel.  With practice, you get used to the strange looks the cashier gives you.  Just repeat yourself.  No bun, thank you.)

My concern this time was the fries.  Yeah, seasoned fries.  The teenager taking my order whipped out a large menu that listed all the allergens in each of the foods Arby’s serves.  Very cool.  But, there it was.  Wheat.  Really?  In fries?  Sigh.

I looked at the beef sandwich ingredients just to be sure.  It listed wheat.  What?  I asked the cashier if the beef had wheat in it.  Crazy question, I know, but if you have experienced the pain of eating something you are allergic to, you understand my caution.  The teen turned to ask the kitchen staff, then turned back to me.  With a smile, he shook his head.  Wasn’t gonna’ ask that question.

Instead, the cashier asked the manager to come out.  (It was a slow time of day, so I wasn’t holding up anyone’s order.  There was only one other person in the restaurant.  He was waiting for his order, and seemed interested in the outcome of my conversation.)  The manager’s answer confirmed what I suspected…the wheat was in the bun, not the beef.

Before Sissy and I left Arby’s I rang the restaurant’s bell to let them know I appreciated the good job they had done.

I wonder, if there was a bell in heaven that was rung every time a job God appreciated was done, would it ever be silent?  Or would there be days, week, months where the clapper never moved?

I wish you well.