Sunday, June 3, 2012

the coffee shop regulars

A while back I worked at a coffee shop.  One of the best places I could ever work I think and I loved every minute of it.  Even the busy, I need my coffee now people were fun and easy to please.  And gosh when you hand them that cup and tell them to have a nice day, their entire world has just changed for the better.

I've always wanted to become a regular somewhere.  (granted I dont know that I've ever been in one place long enough to make that happen but one day) I just think there is something so special about walking in and everyone knowing your story and your life and what you like and don't like.  Being at home, away from home.

Every day around 11:30 Don would come in.  Don is an older gentleman and when I first started working I knew he was a regular but he wasn't the personal type.  He would get his small 1/2 caf latte and be on his way with a few hello's here and there.  I learned his name and every time he came in I was excited to see him, just because I knew he was familiar and I wanted to meet and chat with him.  As the months passed Don became a frequenter of not only the shop but the other side of my counter.  He would sit at the bar and chat with me as I made his drink.  About family, weather, his day.  These moments easily became some of my favorite at work.  And it was just that...a very small moment.

I've since realized that Don and I did something for each other.  I helped him feel more at home in a place he went almost every day and he helped me realize that moments are so small but can make the best out of someone's day.

So here's to 1/2 caf latte's and small, day changing moments.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

riding the bus

A couple weeks ago I was riding the bus...a very long way.  And when I got on, there was no single seat so I took this opportunity to pick who I felt like would talk to me.  I looked and looked.  Amongst the sleeping people and radio listeners, the book readers and conversationalists there was an oler gentleman who was sitting by himself who immediately moved his things off the seat next to him for me to sit down. Bingo.  (someone who moves their things is a sure sign they are willing to talk to you)

So we sat for a bit getting used to each others presence and then he and I begin to have this great conversation about where our adventures were leading us.  We talked about family and traveling and cars, which thanks to my dad I know something about.

Then back to family.  He has 13, no mistake in the number...13.  With nieces and nephews galore he said.  He is the only on who lives in northern california and the rest live close to LA.  He shared with me that he had just lost his house to bankruptcy and was trying to get back on his feet.  And he said despite not really having a lot and having to work pretty hard at his age, whenever he gets just enough money saved he spends it on a train ticket to go see his family.  He doesn't wait until he has an excess amount of money to go see the people he loves.  He does it right away.

This is exactly how I want to live.  Sieze the moment.  Carpe diem.  He lives it to the best.  Why wait for an opportunity to fly by when you can just do it right now.  Money is something that is important to some degree in life but why let it be the controller.  I guarantee you will miss out on adventure if you do.  And I think Jose would agree with me.

And if you're anything like me...I hate missing out on adventure.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


This is really just a story.  A story of this great friend I know named Joel.  I met Joel this past summer when I lived in Washington.  I didn't like Joel at first, and I can tell you that because I've told him that.   You see Joel is one of the most sarcastic people I know.  Which if you don't know someone who is sarcastic, they can kinda seem like a jerk.  But I can tell you right now, he obliterated my little picture of him and was one of the biggest blessing of the summer.  Some of my favorite memories of camp, and they are far and few between, are the ones that Joel was so much apart of.

I have this theory in life, that when we need someone to understand us the most, God will provide them in just the right moment.  I don't know that people will ever really understand me fully, but I can tell you that   Joel gave me a small piece of home when I was away, in such wonderful moments.

My last night Joel and a couple others and I went to get milkshakes...which, in reality turned into a meal...we laughed and laughed and it was the best last night I could've asked for.  Joel says " we can tell you why we are thankful for you or we can tell stories about this summer" Both would have made me cry so I said no.  But in that moment I knew he understood my desire for community and my love for people. One of the few moments this summer that I truly felt understood and loved for who I am.

It's funny how people come in and out of our lives but somehow we are all weaved together and our storie starts to become a collection of the stories we share with others.  What a beautiful thing this way of life is.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

the gift that keeps on giving.

About a year ago I was at my favorite coffee shop with a friend and after doing our homework and mostly just watching we packed up our things and started to head out.  On my way to the door a man, who had been there since before we got there and had his work spread out over a large table stopped me to talk.  By work I mean his paints, brushes, sketch pads, and water color sheets.  We chatted for a while and he was telling me about what he does and how he just likes to go there to paint and everyone knows him because that is just where he finds peace.  I say I have to go and he asks me if I want one of his paintings. YES!  He lets me look through his book and tells me I can have anyone I want.  I pick one out and he tells me the intention behind it and sends me on my way.  I've had the painting up in my room since then and it has become a bit of a funny joke about that one time I got stopped just to talk and walked away with a free painting.
About a week ago I was again at my favorite coffee shop and he was there again.  He didn't recognize me, which I expected but I was able to watch him find his peace from a distance and enjoy his environment and let his creativity flow through his brush.  I like meeting people twice.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Yesterday I spent the day in Pasadena with a good friend and in our wanderings we talked about some of this and some of that.  Topics that span greater than everyday conversation which is always a fresh breath of air.  As we were walking back to Hubert (the best car ever) we stumbled upon an interesting find. You see, in Pasadena there is a scientology church.  And they have a...... 'show room' we'll call it, where they have all kinds of displays up and information about how scientology started.  I've always wanted to go inside but the doors have always been closed, but yesterday they were open.  So we went!  Which I apologized for later.

We walk in a Mary greets us and asks our names and before we know it we're off to explore in this quiet odd place.  They have displays where you watch videos for information.  So we sit and then this man, Chuck, comes out of nowhere and when the movie is over we get up and he immediately approaches us and wanted to talk.  I think at this point we both knew they wanted us to get hooked.  Too bad for them we already have everything we need.  But we talked for a while asking him questions and trying to not be too disrespectful and point out his mis-connections.

Then he asked if we wanted to watch just a 7 minute video on the basics of scientology.  We said sure and then happened the weirdest part of all.  He led us into a dark room with eight seats and a giant screen.  We sat there both wondering if we were about to be brainwashed, then he left.  We sat in the dark, and watched a seven minute video that was all things we knew on how to relate to people.  After it was over Dana come in and she greeted us with videos (which we didn't leave with because you had to buy them) and she shared a little bit about herself with us and we said we had to leave and walked out.  Both totally baffled.

You see, even though I don't really feel like I had real conversation with these three, I was very struck by their intensity.  They wanted to talk to us so much and wanted people to understand their way of living so much.  I think we all fall under that category sometimes, maybe not so intense, but we all desire to be understood and wish that more people felt like we did or could relate to our way of life.  I hope I dont seem that intense to people, I don't feel as if I want to live life that way. But that is the way they did it and for them it seems to work.  Here's to Mary, Chuck, and Dana...good luck with scientology.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

newest friend.

I work at a coffee shop and have for about four months now.  As you can all imagine, what a perfect place for small conversation and a warm drink.  Well you're right. But as the barista sometimes it's not as simple as that.  With people to please and things to do in a hurry there are often times when people walk in and I think to myself, "I want to talk to them" but they come and go and I'm left with only the few words of 'thanks for my drink' and in response I say have a wonderful day!  or something to that effect and am left with questions and thoughts never being said.  It's the pits.

But however there are the few times when it's slow and I don't have too much to do and I can take a second and interact with people that come in.  Or when my regulars come in and they know just by seeing me that we have something to talk about.

Let me take this chance to tell you about one of my favorites.  I didn't just meet him but he's still new to my collection of friends and I just enjoy him so much.  We'll call him stan.  Stan is probably in his 60's and lives in our town.  When he comes in and knows I've been there since 5:30 he greets me with a "good morning sunshine!"  We talk about the weather and he tells me all about the churches he helps and how involved he is in the community.  We talk about how neither of us have TV cause we dont need them and we can read the news in the paper or online.  How we like the joy of reading good books and we're not so sure about kindles or nooks but that's the direction our world is going.  Stan is simple, he's genuine and he loves good conversation.  He'll often just stop in the shop to say hi and chat, which I appreciate.

One day, I hope I remember to live my life as simple.  Maybe he didn't choose to live that way and would rather not but he's playing the cards he's been dealt and he is the most positive about it.  Talk about spreading joy to so many people.

Friday, January 6, 2012

This is where life is taking me.

I have recently found that in my selfish, centered, and all about me life that I often live there are people who I encounter that change my insight to life.  That give more something more to think about or something else to appreciate.  There are people who just make me laugh, the ones who leave me in awe (for better or worse) and those who just inspire me to do a million things before the sun goes down.

This is what I will write about.  You see being 23 I want to remember the people that I meet in the places that I go because right now in life...I can go anywhere.  So this is my story.  Of other people's lives through my own eyes.  Which could hold no truth to who they are really, but I'll try to be accurate but I'm warning you I have a fairly big imagination and it can sometimes get in the way.

Here's to the people I meet and the stories I will have to tell because I'm willing to step out of my own comfort zone because everyone has a story to tell and something they are just itching to say.