Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Coffee Shop Chronicles No. 14

I don't know about you but when I go someplace on purpose, I need a plan. Take for instance the grocery store. I am going for the purpose of getting groceries and if I don't have a plan, my grocery list, it turns into a muddled mess. The lack of a plan for my coffee shop chronicles this past week, or at least no plan until the eleventh hour, turned the whole adventure into a muddled mess.

I arrived at the coffee shop at half past nine.


I returned to the coffee shop that Mallory and I had visited when she was home on Spring Break.

As I turned down the street the coffee shop is on I spied a parking spot right across the street from the coffee shop. A parallel parking spot non the less, not my best skill in life, but I maneuvered into it perfectly. Things were going my way, or so I thought.

As I gathered my purse and writing gear from the backseat, I took note of a few people headed down the sidewalk towards the coffee shop. I didn't give it much thought. I crossed the street and climbed the short set of cement steps to the front door. As I casually pushed open the glass door it narrowly missed hitting the fellow that had gone in just ahead of me.


This coffee shop is not spacious inside but there is a fair amount of distance from the ordering counter to the front door. Currently that distance was being spanned by a line of people waiting to place their morning coffee orders. I forgot to take a couple of things into account when I decided to come here. First of all it was Friday, I have never been here on a Friday. Second, it was Good Friday, a lot of people had off from work.

I gently let the door fall back into place, turned, and walked back down those cement steps. Back to my car in its prime parking spot, tossed my stuff back into the back seat, climbed into the driver's seat and just sat there.

What was I going to do now? Coming up with a back up plan is also not a strong life skill of mine. Generally if things don't go as planned I tend to mentally shut down and develop a bad attitude about the whole adventure. Should I just bag it now and go home?


Then a thought came to me. I wondered if Ida Red's was open. I had been there once before with my friend Jane early last year. Ida Red's operates on interesting hours, generally only open on the weekends and then only for breakfast and lunch. They have amazing home cooked food and the place is always busy.


When I pulled up right outside into an angled parking spot, I took it as a good sign that there wasn't anybody waiting outside.

I arrived at the restaurant at quarter to ten.

When I pushed open the weathered, red wooden door with the glass window it didn't bang into anyone. There wasn't anybody in the tiny waiting area, but there wasn't any empty tables either, so I signed in at the counter. Sarah (1), it's funny one only seems like a lonely number when you have to write it on a waiting list at a restaurant.


Fortunately I didn't have to wait long. When the waitress/hostess asked if I wanted the round two seater table in the corner I enthusiastically said yes. I figured it was a less desirable table so I would be able to sit there for a little while and write without feeling the pressure to vacate the table.


Even though this place is not large, six booths, one four seater table and four two seaters, all of which were full, it was very hard to eavesdrop on conversations. Mainly because there was so much talking going on it was hard to separate out individual conversations. There were two conversations that I was able to catch snippets of. The first one was at the two seater table to my right. Two guys in their 60's. They discussed at a fast moving rate a wide range of topics. Two of particular interest were; the one guy had a model train set up in his basement so he was telling his friend all around his recent acquisitions and how he loves taking pictures of his set ups and posting them on Facebook. Interesting. Then they were talking about a girl that they knew who had put her baby into foster care while she got some counciling. Like I said, a wide range of topics.

The other conversation that stood out was at the booth that was to the right of the two guys. Two ladies probably in their 40's. The one lady was a very loud talker, hence why I could hear her from two tables away. Actually, I think the whole restaurant could hear her. She and husband must be house flippers. She was telling the other lady all about their latest project and how they didn't make any money on the last project.

I seriously considered not writing this week's Coffee Shop Chronicle, because in my mind it was an epic failure. In reality though I need to have failures in order to have successes. I learn from the failures, just as much, if not more than I learn from the successes. In the end it is all about showing up each week and doing the work. I won't get handed the gifts of characters like Mr. Americano and Miss Willow every week, but I must keep trying and keep writing, that is my strategy.

Until next time...

29 comments:

  1. Been there, done that. I love your chronicles...oh, if I could be so disciplined.

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  2. We have something in common in learning with failures. I wouldn't consider this a failure though-more like the scenic route!! But I know when you have a specific idea in mind about how something should be or look like-and it doesn't unfold the way you think it should-it's important to be open and embrace it. I enjoy your travels and adventures.

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  3. This doesn't sound like a failure at all! You got a good meal and some interesting snippets and most importantly, you rolled with the punches - not always easy to do!

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  4. I have to tell you I loved this. Its not a failure to me either. You won.. You did it right though to this blog.

    Gives me inspiration . . I learn from failures to successes also.
    Happy Easter.

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  5. I just love that second photo.

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  6. I don't see failure here either...to me if was just a detour and even if you had gone home...you could have written there, perhaps in a different place and that to would not have been a failure...What is a failure is if you let it get the best of you and didn't even make an attempt to write...that was your journey and it was a success...and hey, you got to listen to some chatter...bonus...Not.

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  7. I don't think this was a failure. Each time won't be perfect with setting or people. Take what comes!

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  8. Your breakfast looks great - I'll be in Michigan at the end of June and into July. I must check it out.

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  9. Doesn't sound like a failure! You just switched gears and had a different experience than you had planned. You never know when snippet of something you heard there that day will work into your writing, or give you an idea to explore. And the food looks delish!

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  10. What an exciting experience, with a new twist. Plan "B"... It reminds me of when we go out to eat sometimes, and our first choice has a huge waiting line - which we will not stand or sit for, and just move on. Most times, the alternative ends up being better anyway. From the looks of the breakfast, it appears to have turned out great, with a lot more chatter. I chuckled at the "extra loud" lady talking.

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  11. I don't think I see failure here either! I think I've read that we're supposed to take a different route now and then!

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  12. Some things are meant to be and at least you managed to get a couple of conversations recorded, whereas at your first stop it would have been too packed and frantic I feel. Loving this series. And, by the way, you have me hooked on chai lattes now - especially with a vanilla shot! xx

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  13. You created a lovely story about the upset to your routine , loved it .

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  14. There it is, the slight edge. Way to go!

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  15. What is the old saying about there are no failures...just opportunities. And I think you took full advantage of an opportunity!!

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  16. But I like that you told us about the foiled plans and how you overcame! That is the best part!! And it is different and unexpected.

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  17. No failure, just a different experience! I'm glad you went ahead and found a place to visit and write. Your meal looks delicious!!

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  18. It sounds like a good strategy to me and I like the way your plans were changed along the way and gave you a new experience and not the one you were expecting!

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  19. I can not parallel park unless the space is at least 3 times the length of my car! No evidence of an epic failure here Sarah. It can feel disappointing if our plans don't come to fruition but new opportunities come our way. Just keep writing...

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  20. I love your chronicle journey.

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  21. Sarah, I'm so happy that you decided to proceed with today's story. Like you, I get a little bent out of shape when my carefully designed plans fall apart. But I totally agree that we learn so much from our so-called failures. And, in the end, today's installment of the Chronicles is a favorite of mine. You bring so much of yourself to every thing you write. One is not a lonely number - it's a powerful one!

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  22. I really love all of the clever coffee shop names these days! What a great little place to hang out...with friends...or alone.

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  23. It took courage to write a post you though would be a 'failure'. I thought it was great. We all have plans that don't work, we just don't all write about them. By writing about it, you have shown us good things can still happen even if plan A doesn't work out. BTW... I can't parallel park either,

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  24. Successfully parallel parking is a win. Not having to do it again at the next place is another win. Persevering even though your first plan didn't work out is yet another win. And that breakfast looks great! I see no failure anywhere around. :)

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  25. What you perceived as a failure was actually a very interesting post to read! What a quaint restaurant you ended up at, and your breakfast looks delicious. :) I'm really glad you stuck it out and wrote about your day - thanks for sharing, Sarah. :)

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  26. Loving the name (Ida Red's) being an (Ida) it's always fun to see your name. Sounds like a great place to eat and oh my your food looked so yummy. I find it funny about listening to people's conversations and they don't even know it. Seems a bit like spying but I bet you hear a lot of very interesting things that way. The conversation of the men about the Model Train set brought back memories of my dad who enjoyed putting together a model train set.

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  27. Sounds like it was a success to me. What was your meal? It looks interesting.

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  28. still, a well written story. every day can't be the hit of the party or you would lose appreciation for the fun.

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