The Coffee Date

It was a nippy 35 degrees when I finally woke up at the not so early hour of 9:15 am. I know I’m a lazy one, but in my defense I did wake up at 3:00 am to add another blanket to my bed. Believe me, it was all I could do to crawl out from under the semi warmth of my zebra print comforter to fish around in my closet for another blanket and then scurry back into bed. The effort was well worth it though. Of course then the night sweats started, but that’s another story all together. Such are the joys of being 46 and in pre-menopause. Good Lord, but do I digress!

As I stated in my first sentence I finally woke up at 9:15 am. Cinders, my cranky yellow eyed black cat sang me the song of her hunger as I hopped on one foot into my wheelchair. Clad in a purple tank shirt and yellow boy shorts I expertly turned my chair around and headed out of my bedroom to turn up the thermostat. With Cinders following close behind I headed to my sliding glass door and opened the blinds. The sunlight poured over and warmed me while I waited for the heat to kick on. Cinders got hit with it too and rolled over on her belly, her hungry talk silenced for a moment or two by sweet sunshine.

Seated in my wheelchair, I watched as a black Ford Focus pulled up and stopped behind the cars in the parking lot. A woman carrying a cup of Joe from Starbucks stepped from the car and closed the door. As she began to walk to her apartment door entrance, the gentleman she was with stepped from his door and asked her to stop. He walked to her as she turned around, and he gave her a warm hug. His face was lit with a smile so genuine it made my heart skip a little faster. I could hear her laughter as they hugged each other. He leaned his head in and he kissed her. She wrapped her arms around his shoulders and held him tighter before they kissed again.

Their parting conversation wasn’t clear but you could tell it was jovial and warm, even as they stood outside in the cold morning. As he drove away, and she entered her apartment building, I knew that’s what I wanted someday, a coffee date, a kiss from a nice man, and a smile from him to light up my otherwise ordinary Sunday. I’m hopeful that in time it will happen.

 

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A Scrap of Paper

paperWe carry scraps of paper with us wherever we go. In our purses, pockets, and wallets. The receipts, notebooks or envelopes capture the cascade of thoughts before they can escape our psyche and fade into oblivion. They become our sacred scrolls, and chronicle every day life.  A bit of chicken scratch could become a novel. Or something even more profound. The solving of a philosophical argument that has been brewing for thousands of years.

Maybe it’s a bit of poetry that strikes us. An errant rain drop, a spider building its web or the sound of a distant train whistle could leave us breathless. Grappling for a cocktail napkin and the bartender’s pen in a crowded bar during Happy Hour on Friday night.

We catch these blips of the mind and put pen to paper. Sometimes, the words that come never cease. What we thought would take us a few moments to pen, takes us hours to complete. By the time we are finished we are shaking with emotion and usually exhausted.

Sometimes, the story can be summed up in a sentence. Or 100 words. It doesn’t really matter the word count though does it? As long as one person is affected by the piece, the effort to catch that thought was worth it.

Inspiration has hit me at a Starbucks. A wedding. A funeral. On my drive home. Hell, even in my car waiting at a toll booth on I-76 while watching a couple argue in the car behind me. I’ve even trapped ideas in the notes app on my iPhone.

I like that the mundane inspires me. And I also dig that first draft of this post was written on the back of my grocery list this morning. I was waiting on my Adam Boy to finish his shift at Starbucks. I heard him bantering with his work mates. It made me smile. And made me write my thoughts down.

About writing. About inspiration. And ultimately about my love of chicken scratch on a scrap of paper.

A Chilly and Rainy Morning on South University

Rainy Morning South University

Last winter, as I stepped out the door of my local Starbucks I stopped and took in the surroundings of the street where my office is located. It was early. About 7:45 a.m. The air was damp and chilly, but I didn’t notice. All I saw was, my city. I grew up here. Roamed the streets as a young wild child and drank illegally in as many bars as I could. My old haunts are all closed now. Or the names have changed. That’s neither here nor there. What I want to write about, is how I felt that morning….

With my trusty iPhone at the ready, I captured a moment in time. I’ll never get it back, but I’ll remember what it felt like to stand outside on a dreary morning. I was happy. Smiling from ear to ear, because of story I’d written. Or a text I’d received. Or maybe, I was just happy to be alive and employed.

There were paper plates strewn all over the sidewalk from the folks that closed the bars at 2:00 a.m. I can imagine them, standing there. Holding pizza in their hands and wobbling from the beer they’d consumed at the Brown Jug or the Blue Leprechaun. One should experience closing time on Central Campus at least once in their lives. I would now, but I’m sure the young people would look at me and think I was a freak for intruding on their ritual. I’m in bed before midnight most of the time now anyway.

The trees were illuminated with Christmas lights, but it was long after the holiday. It tickled me to see them though. I can’t explain why. I could hear the crackle of electricity in the air. The constant humming gave me a kind of inner peace. It’s something that I seek every day. In the few moments I stood in the street, I felt it. I think I even owned it. Then it was gone.

Shaken from my reverie, I checked the time on my phone. It was getting late and I needed to make my way to my office, just a few blocks away. I placed the phone in my bra and began to walk down the sidewalk (yes, it does make my boob look square, but I’ve no where else to put the damn thing). I needed to focus on work and real life.

Fortunately, I get to take a few moments every morning and take in the beauty that is South University. Even with litter strewn about, I still love it.

(My words have been lost lately, due to a myriad of things going on in my life. Please stick with me my sweets. I promise to be back in rare form soon. I might even say the F word from time to time.)

To Smile is to Awaken

I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite-Buddy the Elf

(I included a photo of Judy Garland because of the music link at the end)

This  morning I was heading down South University Avenue to grab a coffee at my favorite Starbucks Coffee shop. They know me there. By name. I love that. They love that I always tip. No matter how much or little I spend there. My order is always the same. Venti dark roast (preferably Komodo Dragon Blend), five pumps of caramel, two Sweet and Low and room for cream. I have a Gold Card so I always get my syrup for free.

As I walked down the street, I smiled. A genuine one. I’ve been told that smiling is infectious. I found that to be true today. Each person that I came in contact with, either smiled back or said hello. It gladdened my heart and made my smile broader. It’s simple really, to smile. I found that the more I’ve smiled today, the more positive I’ve become.

Life hasn’t been easy these last few months. With injuries to my body, mind and heart. Day by day life gets easier. If not easier, better. I’ve learned that I can’t change those around me. That I must change. My attitude, my mind, my heart, my life. For if I do that, my positivity projects to all of those around me. What better way to start that process than with a warm smile, a kind word, and a genuine interest in what someone is saying to you?

This week, Sexy Soul Star, one of my favorite bloggers asked the question are you a “Waker” on their FB page. Meaning do you have the gift of waking those out of their metaphorical slumber. Below is what I posted on the Sexy Soul Star Facebook fan page. Please check the blog and the FB page out. Such beautiful photos and powerful words come from this fantastic man.

I do believe I am one of these “Wakers”. I’m not trying to sound arrogant or anything. But I feel the urge to help people whenever I can. I speak the truth, give support and nurture. It’s what I was born to do. One of my daughter’s dear friends came to me recently and told me that I helped save her life. That she was close to suicide and then read one of my blog entries. Told me it changed her life. I’ve never felt so helpless and helpful at the same time. I guess that’s why I tell my story on wordpress. To change one life with my words, means that I’m a success. 

My friends even if you can not find the words to convey your feelings, at least smile. For even to smile is to awaken. Yourself and those around you.