Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Coffee Shop Chronicles No. 12

I can tell that Spring is finally arriving. I feel a restlessness in my bones that comes after the long complacency of winter. A winter spent mostly indoors, now the outside world is calling me. The only thing is, now after doing the coffee shop chronicles for these past months, the lonely backroads don't have the same appeal anymore. Now I seek out people to be in my adventures.

I arrived at the coffee shop at five minutes past eight.

There must be something about my name that is hard for the Order Taker to remember. When I came in she knew I wanted a muffin. She looked concerned as I perused the case looking for a muffin I hadn't tried yet. She voiced her concern "Don't we have the muffin you want?" I told her that I am trying all the different varieties of muffins that they make, so I was looking for something I hadn't tried before. She suggested the Double Chocolate, I don't think I have had that one before, even if I had who can resist chocolate. When it came time for the Order Taker to write down my name for the order she says "remind me of your name again". Maybe if I stuck to the same day every week and the same muffin she would remember more easily, but me sticking to anything that consistently is unlikely to happen.

Thursday morning has its regulars just like Tuesday morning does. The group of older ladies were here again, minus one, only four today. I positioned myself at the table next to them again.  The group of cyclists were here again as well. I figured out that they are a bicyclist group, since one of the guys had his gear with him. Also the older ladies made a comment about the bicyclist group being smaller this week.

A small contingent of police officers were here as well. Some of the same ones from Coffee Shop Chronicles No. 3. A couple in their 60's came in, placed their order, and while the husband stopped to fill up his white ceramic coffee mug from the large pump style coffee carafe, she went ahead to get a table. I could tell she wanted the booth in the corner, the booth that the police officers were sitting directly in front of. She skirted around one way to get there, and then decided that was too close in passing the officers, so she skirted back the other way. Eventually she just committed and squeaked in behind them and claimed the booth. By this time, the husband has his coffee and makes a bee line right for the booth, not paying the police officers any attention at all.

As I settled in I happened to glance out the window and noticed a guy carrying a bouquet of grocery store flowers. I wanted to follow him and see where he was taking them, who the recipient was going to be. Would she be surprised, pleased, or matter of fact about them. Watching this guy with the flowers reminded me of a comment that my friend Naomi wrote on last week's Coffee Shop Chronicles. She wrote "When you described the guy out in the snow, I realized that there's a story hidden in everyone and everything. Thank you for pointing that out. I think that's one reason why I like this series…makes me wonder about other people's stories." So Naomi, the guy with the flowers is for you. What's his story?

The most adorable couple in their later 20's came in for breakfast with their two young sons. The one little guy was maybe around 8 months, just to the point of mastering sitting in a high chair well. The other little one was probably around three. They enjoyed a delightful breakfast together, the boys being very well behaved. Once done the three year old was allowed to get down and wander close to the table. He found the fish tank. He was partially using it to hide from his parents, but he was also intently watching the fish swim in the tank. As most little kids try to do, he put his pouty little lips on the glass trying to kiss the fish. I wonder how many times a day they have to clean the glass on that tank.

As the cute couple was getting ready to leave, the husband and two boys were sitting on the couch next to the fish tank. The mom grabbed her iPhone and snapped a quick photo of them sitting there. What will she remember about this photo six months from now? If it doesn't get deleted before that. Will the mom see her precious guys and marvel at how the little ones have grown? Will she think about how much she loves her husband? Will the photo evoke memories of a fun day spent together, starting with breakfast at the local coffee shop? Part of me wanted to go over and offer to take a snapshot of all four of them, but I hated to insert myself into their story...maybe I should have.

Until next week...


  1. You certainly have fun in your coffee shop visits imagining other people's lives! I liked reading about those two cute little boys and their parents. As for the Order Taker not remembering your name, maybe you could just say something like: "Hi, I'm Sarah! What sort of muffin can you recommend today?" Over here people are never called by their first names and I find that a great shame!
    Yesterday, I popped into my local coffee shop to buy a slice of quiche for my lunch after doing my weekend shopping. Unfortunately, there was only one left with onions, which I don't like!

  2. I wonder what the policemen were talking about ? That could make an interesting story ....

  3. perhaps you should start writing some of the stories -I'm sure you could! I also never cease to be amazed at how early you get there in the morning!

  4. I liked thinking about a young couple with two boys . . . taking the time to take their boys for breakfast, to sit together, to listen to one another, to watch and relax . . . no fast food in that scenario . . .

    One thing about an already put together bunch of flowers from the grocery store is that it contains some possibility.
    Give as is . . .
    Rearrange and create new . . .
    Be happy it isn't filled with a bunch of green filler leaves and lots of white baby breath filler . . .
    I purchased three bunches of tulips yesterday, yellow, pink, purple . . . twenty dollars . . . fun and playing, three colorful vases, one to share, two for home . . . I can't imagine what three dizen colorful tulips delivered to my door, would cost.

    Guess that is what happened to me as I thought about the young man with the flowers . . .

    I like your Coffee Chronicles . . .

    No more from me for awhile . . . packing, up, up and away . . .

  5. Everyone, every place, every thing has a story. Perhaps the little family of four's story includes "that" lady at the other table taking pictures as we had breakfast. Once we pull out our camera (either the big one or the phone one) we become a more recognized part of the whole picture. (well, we are even without the camera, but it does increase our standing in the credit listing from "misc. person at other table" to "lady with camera").

    Enjoyed Thursday.

  6. It sure does bring back memories seeing young couples like that. It is amazing how quickly time passes and how during that time you should savor the moments more...

  7. Thanks again! I often wonder if someone else would see what you see. You have a gift and I'm so glad you use it and share it with us.

    I often ask if I can take the whole family photo. I look at our vacation photos when our daughter was young and I'm not in one shot. I wish I had thought to ask someone to take ours.

  8. I love your Coffee Shop Chronicles!! I thought maybe I had missed this week, and then found this in my email today. YAY!
    I always observe and construct a story and I don't even have to see the person/ people to make my story up! If I see an interesting house or apartment window, I am off and running! Before I retired, when I would be in a meeting (way TOO many meetings!!) if the meeting room faced the highway, I would watch the cars going by and insert myself into one and off I would go. Obviously the meetings were pretty boring.
    Again, I so enjoy your weekly chronicles and so look forward to each of these posts!!! Please keep them coming!

  9. Sarah, I admire your adventuresome spirit, right down to trying a different muffin each time. I'd probably have picked the one I judged "most likely to succeed" on my first visit and stuck with it happily ever after! I enjoyed this week's stories, as always.

  10. Maybe she will forget about that photo of her husband and sons. And, then will run across it on her phone one day in the future and remind her how quickly time passes.

  11. Sarah your chronicle series is fantastic! They remind me of Garrison Keillor's stories on Prairie Home Companion weekly shows, and his visits to the local diner. I'm enjoying your writing!

  12. When I was a waitress, many years ago, I could never remember the names of 'regulars' who came in, but I could remember their favorite drinks or food. I am still bad at remembering names. I enjoyed your chronicles No 12.

  13. Your chronicles are making me feel at home while away from home. I've been sharing them with my mom. I hope she will continue reading after I go back home. Know what I like best of the three year old with the fishes photo? The picture of laughing Jesus to the right of the little boy.

  14. So wonderful, this series. Even if it extends to ice cream parlors and even a waiting room or two, it's still fantastic. Let's see about those flowers... maybe it was the same as me today - he forgot it was Teacher Appreciation Day at his child's school on Monday? Better late than never.
    I take pictures of my little lady all the time. I KNOW she is adorable but I also know I'm not fully appreciating her in the moment, so I snap it on my phone and enjoy it later. And then again as I put together her scrapbooks. And then again as I look through them. And I know I'll have these books forever.

  15. It really is fun to observe isn't it? I wonder if I would have the nerve to observe and take pictures. Good for you!


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