Coffee Spills

What I hear and see and think about at the coffee shops I patronize.
Brisk. Fresh. Well-balanced. Occasional nutty and bittersweet overtones.
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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Christian at Panera's

Today I met a happy Christian at Panera's. And a happy library user! She was arranging and sorting all the Christmas shopping inserts from the paper on the hearth of the fireplace--there were dozens, left there by people who pulled them out of the Columbus Dispatch. "Do you work in a library?" I asked. "Oh, no, but that's my dream when the kids are all gone." "Really?" I said, always shocked when people tell me clerking in a library is their hope for the future. "Oh yes, it's just so quiet and peaceful." Then she told me she uses Columbus Metropolitan Library, and that when her children were small they would get on the COTA bus and visit all the branches as well as the main library down town. Her children thought this was a terrific adventure. She just loves Columbus Metropolitan!

Then she told me she was looking through the inserts for Christmas deals--later today she was taking 12 middle-school students shopping. "For their families?" I said in shock at the thought of going anywhere with that many kids. "No, our youth group adopts a needy family and then shops for them, but I go along." "Do they raise the money?" "Yes, last week we had a bake sale and they raised $900," she bubbled.

She had just the personality to be a youth leader--an experienced Mom, happy, and frugal.

I told her I'd selected the name of a 1 1/2 year old girl from the Angel Tree, for children of incarcerated parents, but that I wasn't sure anymore what was in the stores for that age group. So she gave me some practical advice.

You meet the nicest people in coffee shops.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The cost of tailgates

On Saturday I ran into Jack Park at the coffee shop and got a big hug before he dashed off to talk about OSU football. People were lining up to get huge trays for thier tailgate parties before the OSU-Michigan game.

I have an idea for those of you who want to be patriotic (Joe Biden's term), sharing the wealth (Obama's thought), and getting universal health care off the ground (Hillary's plan). I read this week that $16 billion is spent annually on tailgating! That would fund the CDC for more than two years. So all you Obama supporters just have to give up your fall tailgates, send the money to President elect Obama, and he'll be able to spread your money around to government salaried workers. Neat idea, huh?

By the way, if you have a Buckeye fan on your Christmas list, you'll make him or her very happy with Jack's new book. It's just outstanding. Some of the best graphics I've ever seen, and I don't even watch football.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Have you noticed their disappearance?

There was a nice looking, well dressed young man with good manners seated with his mother at the coffee shop this morning. She was quite tall, and he was rather short. He has Down Syndrome which occurs when an individual has three, rather than two, copies of the 21st chromosome. Such a little thing. Such a tiny error. Right now, "prevention" means aborting about 92% of these little ones who did nothing wrong. Many are born to older mothers, but because fertility is higher among younger women, most are born to women under 35, although "born" may not be the right word. Even though many Down children grow up to be caring adults who have jobs, friends, and active, useful lives, the goal seems to be wipe them off the planet.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Some will always need care

A mentally disturbed (ill? diminished? challenged?) man is a regular at my coffee shop. He used to be casually, but nicely dressed, and someone in a newish model car dropped him off or picked him up. Now he sits outside and smokes and coughs. He used to sit inside and cough, and I think there were so many complaints to management (particularly around the free sample table) that they finally told him he'd need to use the outside tables.

Friday, November 07, 2008

From where I sit

The coffee shop is a good place to observe women's fashion and behavior. This week across the room I saw a woman in a stunning, expensive cream colored pants suit with an orange/pink paisley blouse join two men at a table for three. In her mid-30s possibly, she had a stylish hair cut, tipped with blond, perfect make-up, shoes and purse and brief case to die for. However, from a distance, I couldn't tell if this was a business meeting, or if she'd just noticed some friends and sat down. As she sat there in animated conversation, to my shock she put one foot on the chair seat, and brought her knee up above the table, the way a kid sitting on the playground might listening to the coach give instructions.

Then this morning a tall, dark haired dad maybe late 40s and his tall, dark brunette teen daughter enjoyed a breakfast bagel and coffee sitting across from me. She was wearing a mini-skirt shorter than any I saw in the 1970s. There was a table between them. Dad couldn't see her crotch, but I could. How do parents let their daughters out of the house like that and then support rules about sexual harassment in the schools?

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