By Steve Carr
The seasoned lamb slathered with secret sauce hit the spot and made us happy on a long-ago Brussels trip. The pause and the moment were delicious. Drawn by music, sated and silly, we moved with the throng, the energy palpable.
The cobbled street twisted and deposited us in front of a stunning view: La Grand-Place. Baroque buildings that held stories of war, restorations, and survivals surrounded and embraced us. Unprepared, we were stunned and muted by the magnificence. We gathered our wits and joined the revelers, thousands strong, even as the great buildings obscured the setting sun and threw the plaza in deep shadow.
Weariness took us back to our hotel. Our plane left early the next morning. For years, I salivated over the memory of that happy gyro.
More recently, alone, jet-lagged, and drained from tedious meetings, I found myself back in Brussels with a two-hour layover. I sought refuge in a happy gyro. Alas, this time it was merely food. Maybe my earlier street vendor had been discovered and now was the head chef at a five-star restaurant in Paris—leaving his less-talented cousin to feed the plaza tourists. More likely, I just wasn’t as hungry this time.
Hours later, I arrived home in Idaho to sad news: the passing of my sister Katherine. My earliest memory of my big sister is of a homecoming queen pausing, as she raced out the door, to pick me up and hold me close in a swirl of perfume, poofy hair, and Cinderella gown. I was enamored.