We all just love scanning the categories and winners in those “Best of” lists, feeling a little thrill of satisfaction when we see our personal favorites being recognized for being the best at whatever services or products they provide.
And the winners – and all the nominees – can all feel rightfully proud at being honored by a vote of people who live here, friends and neighbors and customers and clients, people who actually know and use and patronize these businesses.
I voted, too, and I will be excited to see if some of “my” winners are also our community’s winners.
But secretly, in my heart of hearts, there are a few candidates who didn’t make the official ballot, but who are really my overall and all-time favorites.
Best car wash – Here I offer a heartfelt shout-out to my ex-husband, who used to spend hours soaping and rinsing until my vehicle glistened even more brightly than it had on the showroom floor, scrubbing the brake dust off my wheels, vacuuming the dog hair and stale french fries out of the carpet, polishing the dust and soft drink stains off the dashboard, and shining the windows until they were so crystal clear you had to check to see if they were rolled up or down. The price was right, too; the only payment required was to listen to his lectures about not letting the kids eat in the back seat.
Best restaurant – There are a lot of places I like, from fast food to sit-down, whether their menu offers a wide variety or focuses on a specialty. But the one I love the most, the one I would pay any price and travel any distance to visit again, was my mother’s dining room table. She walked to and from work every day, from our home on East 25th Street all the way to Texas Gas, in the rain or snow or heat of summer, but still always cooked dinner for her four children every evening. Real meals, too: Meat loaf, fried chicken, pork chop…Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes, garden salad…
Best gym – Not nominated, but in my opinion, there is none better than the Greenbelt. Enjoy the beauty of nature in a solitary walk or embrace the company of friends in a group jog. Ride your bike, skim along on roller skates, walk your dog, push your child’s stroller – whatever works for you, at whatever pace and for whatever distance, there it is, free and open to all. Does it get any more “best” than that?
Best photographer – Well, not to sound snobby, but that would be me. Wait, wait; let me explain! I am not saying this because I think have any particular talent in this area. I mean, I don’t use any of those fancy backdrops or have any cute props and I don’t create magic with any editing software. But! I take pictures of my kids, my precious grandchildren, my goofy dog, and my dear friends. I treasure those photographs – literally snapshots of time that capture precious memories and experiences that touch my heart and warm my soul every time I look at them.
So congratulations to all of the 2019 “Best Of” winners and nominees, and thank you for all you do to make our lives better and more enjoyable!
But congratulations to YOU, too, whoever you are. Remember: To someone else, you are also “the best.”