Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Coffee Shop Chronicles No. 3

I figured that if there was nobody at the coffee shop today because of the arctic temperatures, I would make some observations on my drive there to help fill this space. For example, I wondered if my car temperature display really worked because it always seems to say it is 9 degrees or 7 degrees. Also, as I passed a gravel hauling truck filled with snow, I wondered where they hauled that snow to. Is there a snow landfill somewhere? And if there is, will there still be snow there in August?

I arrived at the coffee shop at 8:20 a.m. It gets earlier every week because I still wake up at 5:00 a.m. and once I have eaten, exercised and showered there is nothing left to do. In those carefree, non-snow filled days, I would be out walking the dogs before I came to the coffee shop.

Interestingly enough the coffee shop was the busiest it has been since I started coming.

The Chair Changing Guy was here ahead of me today. Maybe he has the same problem I do, up too early with nothing to do. Maybe he has a Retriever at home that is pissed that it can't go for it's walk either. So maybe we both are really hiding out from our dogs.


He was sitting in a booth behind me today. He may have deviated from his usual table because his table is right next to the big long table that was filled with police officers this morning. They must have been on their morning coffee break. Needless to say their conversations were interesting, but my lips are sealed.

Barb, commented on last week's story and said the coffee shop is starting to remind her of the old T.V. series Cheers. That thought became abundantly clear to me as I watched Brian come in this morning. He was greeted by The Order Taker, she confirmed that he wanted a bran muffin and coffee to go. Which was quickly filled and out the door he went.


Next came Meredith, who again The Order Taker greeted by name and confirmed that she wanted a plain bagel, toasted with butter and coffee for here. Meredith made me happy and not seem so weird, because when The Head Assistant delivered her order, Meredith took a photo of it with her phone. A kindred soul :) I did find it interesting though that she stood the whole time she was eating, and only sat down when she was done.


Table props are everything in people watching. You look like you are busy with books spread out and writing away, all the while you are casually observing and always, always listening. So yes Dotti, I have "covert" down to a T :)

Today those table props paid off in a big way. There was a couple sitting at a two-seater table behind and to the left of me. As I am watching another regular, Chad come in and am just getting ready to document what The Order Taker is going to confirm as his usual when I hear from behind me "Are you a Seminary student?" What… Well that is a new one for me and one I will probably never get again :) I slowly turn to my left and make eye contact with the gentleman who was probably in his late 60's-early 70's. He had noticed my C.S. Lewis book that was on the table. I said "no" that it was a daily devotional and that I enjoyed reading through it and writing down some thoughts. Hence explaining the journal as well.


Next he noticed my M-22 shirt that I had on, that sparked a lengthy conversation of the joys and wonders of the Leelanau Peninsula and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Traverse City. His wife had become engaged in the conversation by this time as well. Then I was telling them about the recent tour that I had done of the Asylum, which they found fascinating and definitely want to do in warmer months.

I feel like I had a major breakthrough today. Actual conversation with people while I was observing. I am hoping this will give me the courage to do more of it in the future. Maybe I will even get asked if I am a Seminary student if I bring my C.S. Lewis book with me again.

Oh, by the way, The Assistant was back today :)

Until next week...

23 comments:

  1. Sounds like progress in the coffee shop. Always nice to find a niche in a place like this.

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  2. Looking forward to the week 4. My son in law is in law enforcement and my daughter is a nurse....we hear STORIES too.

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  3. I hope your new BFF hasn't blown your 'cover'! And I'm so happy to hear that you are discreet. :-D {PS - Did you get my FB message today?}

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  4. Ok..this is quickly becoming a favorite of mine Sarah..like a soap opera! very cool writing!

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  5. Your coffee shop escapades get better and better each week! Oh, and your muffin looks delicious!

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  6. What a wonderful story! I am going to have to try this for myself - it's my dream to try some street photography but I am too scared - so maybe this will do it!

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  7. Great writing today! Extremely proud of you!

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  8. This is so interesting! I am late to the party, so this is the first coffee shop chronicle I've read. I'd like to try something like this, too, with writing and photography.

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  9. Really like this Sarah! Seminary student . . . (Insert smile right here!). Could be ????

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  10. "As the coffee shop turns"! ;)

    I had a whole paragraph, but blogger seemed to not want to publish it, so I'll make it short this time. It seems I'm a magnet for people to spill their lives to....one woman for two hours one day. I was so hoping someone would call me and I could excuse myself. The next time I went back, she came and sat at my table. Now I do like people, but she was cutting into my writing time. lol!

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  11. I can so imagine you there I always sit in the same place in Starbucks and always have the same thing I wonder what you would write about me lol.... looking forward to the next instalment you could be the next Garrison Keillor !

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  12. This is fun! I would have stopped by your table to comment on your journal - I love it!

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  13. I'm rather shy by nature, so I would likely not initiate conversation with a stranger... and that's something I should work on! Great post Sarah.

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  14. The muffin looks good. Sure wish I could join you... have a wonderful day!

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  15. I love this and am looking forward to more of your coffee shop stories!

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  16. We hide out from our pups this time of the year also, right here in our very own house which they seem tot think they own. Pets can be bullies. LOL

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  17. I smiled at your remark about your car's temperature display. I've often had the same thought - in California because it seemed too hot to be real, and here because it's too cold. By next week you'll be a regular too, though since you seem to try a different muffin each week the server will probably ask, "What will it be this time?" :-)

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  18. This has been a fun series! I have a favorite coffee shop that is a "must stop" on weekends we're in Vermont. We love the owners, and have a great time chatting with some of the regulars that come in. There's something really special about a coffee shop, and I'm thinking you're a "regular" now, too... :-)

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  19. I love these chapters. It's as though my weekly magazine is on the shelf waiting to be bought for the next snippet. Thank you I am enjoying these so much x

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  20. Thanks again for the visit to the coffee house! Love this series :) Sounds like you are on your way to become a regular.

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  21. I want to hear so much more about the cofeeshop chronicles

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  22. So good Sarah. And the thought of your dogs sitting at home in a bad mood! Anyway, I love your people watching and I agree the interaction takes it to a whole new level.

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)