|This place was so great, people actually referred to it as "Famous Raay-Nors."|
My own mother, who died in 1981, wanted a big fuss to justify her having birthed two babies. Each year we brought her breakfast in bed. My sister and I purchased gifts and glittery Hallmark cards. The whole day was built around Mom, culminating in dinner out at Raay-Nors Cabin on Sunrise Highway, a long-defunct restaurant I would give my left arm to eat at again. Famous for their fried chicken, they excelled at fried fish as well. And don't get me started on their corn fritters. Their secret-recipe salad dressing, bright orange in color, was so universally loved that they sold bottles of it; we always had one going in our fridge. (Okay, now I'm hungry.) Besides the excellent food, the ambiance was a mix of down-in-the-holler comfort and upscale nonchalance, allowing you to pretend you were at your own vacation home in the Adirondacks decorated by Martha Stewart.
Anyone who grew up on Long Island in the fifties, sixties and seventies will recall Raay-Nors as unique, evidenced by the long lines of people waiting to get in. It was my mother's favorite place, and thus mine, until my father, sister and I ruined it by eating there one Mother's Day after visiting Mom in the nursing home where she languished with early-onset Alzheimer's for thirteen months, eventually dying at the age of sixty-two. That terribly depressing meal wiped out all the good ones that had come before. (I can't imagine what we were thinking!)
Since I can't have dinner at Raay-Nors I want nothing special today, at least not anything anyone can get for me. I do hope for normal blood pressure readings, no pain in my fickle arthritic hip and the absence of digestive problems, but those things have little to do with my being a mother. As for my only child, I'd like him to truly understand that I love him more than anything; if that knowledge can help him somehow, I'm happy. Otherwise, he need not do anything. After all, it's just May 8th.