Sunday, November 4, 2012

Innocence Lost


I introduce myself and then my potential customer will want my email address or my business card. That's when the confusion starts. My business name is ShaunnaMichelle's. I chose that name to honor and remember my daughter. I think sharing my creativity with her in memory is perhaps the best way that I can show people what she meant to me. So I thought I should tell the story. 

I chose a flower because I don't have a photo of my daughter that would be appropriate to share. The photos that were taken of her by others were taken only after. That is not how I want her remembered. I see her in flowers and butterflies, beautiful birds and waterfalls. I would hope that all parents see their lost children in these things of beauty. 

I must warn you ahead of time that the language contained in my story can be somewhat graphic and will probably be offensive to some. Though I don't harbor the same anger toward God or my family any longer, I did then. To change the story would make it unreal and that would be a betrayal to my daughter. So please proceed at your own risk. Here is the second blog post about one of the many reasons I have the mental illnesses that I have. It is in time for her birthday and the day of her death, November 6th. 

Innocence Lost
 We are all born immortal. It is a belief that stays with us throughout our childhood and into our young adult years. Inevitably, there are chips of the immortal armor broken away at the passing of our beloved family pet or at the attendance of a distant relative’s funeral, but death can never really impress us personally. That is, it cannot touch us until some traumatic event strips away the immortal armor leaving us with the knowledge that we can indeed die. It would never happen to me though. This is what I believed in the year of 1995. I was 19 and I had gotten the news that spring that I was pregnant. The possibilities lay out before me and I enjoyed the uneventful pregnancy with a growing excitement of what was to come.
            The Friday prior to the delivery of my daughter, I went to my doctor following a particularly fitful night plagued with dark dreams. These dreams, I was sure, were a warning. I could not put them into words but they gave me an ominous feeling. I was extremely frightened. “You must induce her now! Today! There is something wrong. I can feel it! I know it!” I couldn’t make the doctor understand the depth of the situation as I stood there screaming my fears at him hysterically with tears streaming down my face. “Just lie down now and we’ll hear the heartbeat. You’ll see everything is okay.” His voice was full of false calm, masking his impatience with my outburst, but I could hear it hidden in his words. I lay down, and the room filled with the steady “whoosh whoosh whoosh” of my daughter’s heartbeat. Still, I was not convinced. The dreams were not about today. “I know something is wrong! I need you to induce her today! Please, listen to me!” I stood shaking and crying as the doctor walked out of the room. He had no more time for me today.
            The Monday my daughter was delivered, I should’ve been filled with happiness and anticipation. Instead, I was filled with a growing dread as my mother ushered me into the car. The dreams had gotten worse. The ride over to the doctor’s office was filled with my mother’s idle chatter and my dark thoughts. I lay down for my last exam before the delivery. I watched the doctor as he searched for my daughter’s heartbeat. Time slowed down, the clock ticking out seconds on the wall. His face changed. I saw it. He acted if nothing was wrong. “Let’s do an ultrasound. Sometimes these little ones can be very uncooperative with letting us hear the heartbeat if they are in the wrong position.” His voice sounded odd, like it was far away. I watched quietly as he rolled the ultrasound machine into the room. I stared at the screen as he moved the wand over my stomach. There was no kicking. No fists waving. There was no heart beating wildly as I had seen many times before in the previous eight months. As I watched the color drain from his face, turning him to a pallid shade of white, I knew. He turned off the machine, asked my mother and me to meet him in his office and walked quickly out of the room.
            We walked into an orderly office with a large mahogany desk. My doctor was seated behind the desk, a Bible lying open in front of him. He asked us to sit and I collapsed into one of his overstuffed chairs. His words immediately started to surround me in a feathery echo as my dreams became a horrible reality. I could only whisper, “Why?” I heard my mother’s voice saying, “God needed her”, and a rush of red overwhelmed me as I hurled my doctor’s Bible across the room, slamming it into a shelf of books. I faced my mother in a fury. “FUCK God! If God is so damn powerful, why can’t He go make His own, why must He take mine?” Just as quickly as the rage took me, it released me and I was left with the ghostly whispers of my dreams again, the unreality of the reality surrounding me.
            I said nothing on the trip to the hospital or as they prepped me for delivery. The nurses tiptoed around me like I might shatter. My mother hovered, trying to get me to speak to her. She called my father and he came to take control as he always did. The nurses and doctors were relieved by his taking charge. They asked me no questions. He made all of the decisions. I did not care. The labor and delivery was painful, but I said nothing. When it was over, the nurse placed my daughter in my arms and the world vanished. There was only her and me. The rest of the room darkened and was gone. She was perfect. She had ten fingers, ten toes, beautiful pouty lips and a gorgeous head full of ebony hair that glowed wherever the light touched it. I placed my hand softly on her head. Her hair felt like silk. I silently pleaded with her to cry. A nurse appeared and gently took her from me, but quickly replaced her in my arms wrapped in a little blanket with pastel colored feet printed on it and wearing a pink stocking cap on her little head. I cradled her. I memorized her, committing every inch of her to my heart. When the nurse took her a second time, gently prying her from my fingers, it was goodbye. As she walked away with my daughter, she took with her my innocence and my immortality.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Planning Ahead for the Holidays!

Well, as much as I hate to admit it, Christmas is right around the corner. I keep seeing the countdowns on Facebook! I don't know about you, but I'm a total procrastinator when it comes to Christmas shopping. I don't know if it stems from wanting to keep gifts hidden from people or just not wanting to deal with the crowds at the stores. Last year, we went completely handmade and that was so much better! Everyone was super happy with their gifts and I didn't have to go to a single store! Best yet, I helped to support other handmade artists like myself! It was a lot of fun and I plan to do it again this year. Of course, we always have items ready to ship in the Etsy Store  and we'd be happy to ship any of those items right out to you. If you have a special request such as wrapping or a special message you want added, please let me know. If you are looking for a custom order, you might want to start thinking about getting those in to me soon! Here are some of my most recent custom orders! You can see more custom order on my Facebook Fan Page under the album titled Custom Orders. Don't hesitate to contact me to see if we can make your perfect custom piece!

These bracelets were ordered by one customer as she wanted them to match, but be in colors specific to their new owners:




Thursday, August 9, 2012

My Favorite Season

I visited the Saturated Canary blog this evening. She is part of a Smashing Sisters Blog Hop (so if you like Smashing, you should totally join) and for her giveaway she asked a question:

What is your favorite season and why?

I responded and it got me thinking that it's actually a really good question. So, I thought I'd blog about my answer a bit. This is obviously a little more detailed, but in the same tone.

I use to think my favorite season was Spring. I take immense pleasure in seeing all the new life, hearing the birds come out again after winter, seeing the blossoming trees, and smelling the sweet smell of rain on a pretty day. It never ceases to amaze me when it rains while the sun is shining or when I see a mother animal with her young. Spring, for me, is full of smiles and wonder. I also rather enjoy the cooler temperatures without all that snow!

I also use to favor Fall with the red and gold changing leaves and the crispness of the air. Halloween has always been a favorite because the children (and adults too) get to allow their imaginations run wild as they choose their costumes for Halloween. I like taking walks and hearing the leaves crunch under my feet. I enjoy taking photos of the sun shining down on a tree full of golden leaves. This season, too, offers cooler temperatures without the hassles of snow shoveling or navigating slick roads.

I've wondered often this summer if Winter might not be my favorite season. I am, by nature, a very hot person and I long to wear my hair down and feel the brisk ice on my cheeks. I love the silence during and right after a snow fall and the cleanliness of the air. I've always enjoyed the lights at Christmas and the spirit of giving and family that come with the season.

However, as Summer comes to a close, it beckons as well because of the longer days and the cricket-song filled nights. My boys are home and I don't have to share their time with school or homework. We can laugh, play, sing, and dance until long after the sun has gone down for the night and it is okay because there are no early mornings. As school quickly approaches for them, I realize how much I will miss those lazy days of summer, no matter how hot they sometimes were.

In essence, I've found that there is something to appreciate about each season. Still, I think I'm fond of Spring and Fall the most because they allow me the most comfortable time outside! So, what is your favorite season and why?


The photo above is one of many I've saved from the shares that happen on Facebook. 





Wednesday, August 8, 2012

No One Should Die Alone

 I grew up in Florida. The parts I remember are usually associated with the beach. One thing that was always part of the beach was the seagulls. Their antics and begging for food could be funnier than any domesticated cat or dog and I remember laughing and chasing them for better parts of a day. (or were they chasing me for my snacks?) It is a fond childhood memory and to be honest, I don't have many of those. Today, I had the extremely unfortunate and sad experience of seeing a seagull hit by a car. Now, we don't have a "sea" here per se and I'm sure that they call them something different in Montana, but to me they will always be seagulls. But I digress. So I saw this seagull get hit and as my husband was driving past through a rather large intersection, I saw the seagull still moving. So I made my husband pull over and I got out of the car and walked back to the intersection to pick up this poor seagull because he was still moving, but couldn't really seem to get up or move himself off the road. At this point, I was honestly hoping that it was just a broken wing and that he would be fixed up in no time and begging for my snacks while pooping on my car. As I walked up to him, he was sort of quietly calling out and he was really struggling to get off the road. It was hot, the high was 99 today, and he was on asphalt. I'm sure he was getting toasted the longer he was there. I couldn't very well leave him there to get run over by a car, so I picked him up as gingerly as I possibly could. I definitely didn't want to cause him more pain. I cradled him against my chest and he kept looking up at me and doing that quiet calling sound. It was heartbreaking. I felt so helpless. By the time I got him to the car and got settled in it, I knew I couldn't save him. He had blood around his mouth and his breathing was very labored. Still, I made my husband call vets. He was on the second call when the seagull cried one last time and then laid his head on my chest and died. I will admit that I have not cried that hard in a really really long time. I can't even remember the last time. It was sincerely one of the most saddest things I've ever personally experienced. I find myself going back to earlier in the day and I just hope and pray that he knew I was trying to help him and that he took some comfort in dying in the arms of someone who cared instead of on that hot street surrounded by cars whizzing by. Regardless, I'm glad we stopped. I'm glad he didn't have to die alone in the middle of a road. I'm glad that I was able to hold him and try to love him and talk to him gently. I'm glad I heard his last words, even if I couldn't understand them. I firmly believe that no animal and no person should ever have to die alone. I'm convinced that there should be someone there to hold them closely, offer them love, take some of the fear away, and listen to their last words because they may truly be important to them. Though I wish the outcome would have been different, I would do it all over again because at that moment in time, it was all I could give to him. I'd like to think that I made his passing easier. I'd like to think I took some of the fear away. I'd like to think that he knew I was trying to help him and that he knew I loved him. Now I hope he's flying around some wonderful beach with the perfect weather and the perfect friendly seagulls to keep him company. That's how I will remember him, like in the picture below. Because, even if he was in Montana, he represented something different to me. Tonight I will go to sleep praying for the seagull that I was permitted to comfort and hold for mere minutes. I hope he hears the prayers and I hope he's in a better place. Thank you for listening. It won't always be a sad story. I have to say he's the first one I've lost and I've rescued plenty.       












All photos were borrowed from http://dailyapple.blogspot.com/2010/06/apple-464-seagulls.html. Please be sure to visit their blog for more about seagulls! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Jewelry and Green Bay Packers

I was seeing a lot of green and yellow together lately and I wondered how it would look together on a piece of jewelry. The picture is the result of my question.
I've taken large green glass crystals and capped them with Tibetan Silver bead caps, then separated them with smaller green glass crystals and clusters of yellow glass crystals. I added a small amount of matte black beads as an accent to make the colors appear richer and darker.
When I posted this on my Facebook page to get reactions from friends, everyone said it looked like a Green Bay Packers Bracelet. So there ya go! My attempt at something "football" I guess.
Truth is, I don't actually watch football. Neither does my husband. We're more of the geek and technology types instead of the Sunday football types. I suppose you could mix the two, but I honestly cannot stand to sit there long enough to watch an entire game. However, my oldest son (12) does watch football and one of the teams he likes is the Green Bay Packers. I have no idea how he chooses the teams he likes.
If you are interested in this bracelet, it is available in my Etsy store at: https://www.etsy.com/listing/105638117/green-and-yellow-crystal-bracelet This is one of a kind, so once it is gone, it is gone.
Do you watch football? What team(s) is your favorite? How did you decide?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Custom Orders

Making jewelry is a lot of fun. I enjoy looking at the beads and buying the ones I like, then coming up with a pretty way to put them together to create a piece that I enjoy. Sometimes, I sell those pieces. A lot of the time, someone will see something I've made and want something a different color or length. Special orders are always welcome and they present a challenge to me. I want them to be perfect, but for that to happen, I somehow have to combine the customer's wants with an artistic vision to create something perfect just for them. I stress about it quite a bit, but in the end, I haven't had anyone be disappointed yet. I hope I can keep it that way for many years to come. My heart smiles when a custom order is shown or delivered and the recipient is absolutely thrilled with the results. I've had two such orders recently and I wanted to share them here with you.

This special order was for a friend who wanted a gift for her BFF. It is a Breast Cancer Awareness set.
I knew I wanted to convey a couple of things in this piece. One, of course, was the breast cancer awareness part. The other was love. My customer genuinely loves her BFF and I wanted her BFF to feel that when she received the gift. The hearts added that special tough to it and I was able to find an awareness ribbon with a heart too. I was very pleased with how this set turned out and even more so when my friend saw it and decided it was perfect!
This other set is a bracelet and necklace set for a special friend who just so happens to love horses and recently acquired not one, but two of them! A lifelong dream of hers! She wanted something that was turquoise and showed her love of horses. This one took a bit longer and the end product was not exactly how the idea started out, but I couldn't be happier with how it turned out:
 The photo of the necklace definitely does not do this piece justice as it was longer than my little display allowed for, so it is weighted in the back to allow for the photo. Weighting it had the effect of not allowing the different sections lay together. It looks a lot better ON a person. My friend received the set today and is in love with it, which makes me so happy!

I do think I tend to do some of my better work when it is a custom order because I am trying so hard to make it something that they will love and cherish forever. I hope you've enjoyed looking at them as much as I enjoyed making them. If you have an interest in a special order, don't hesitate to email me or convo me on Etsy!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

One Nation...Under English

I got into a debate with an acquaintance of mine a few weeks back. She was talking to a woman whose car had been broken into. The women had left her doors unlocked and some of her music and some other items had been taken. I asked her why she had left her doors unlocked, to which she replied, "Well, this IS Montana!" Umm...okay. That doesn't mean we don't have criminals here. Anyway, the shop owner made some reply that it was because THOSE people were moving into town. Call it intuition or whatever you like, I KNEW who she was speaking of. So I said, "Hey now, let's not get nasty, I'm one of THOSE people." She then argued that no, I was not one of them. I said yes. She said no. I said, "I'm Spanish." And she said, "OH! You ARE one of THOSE people." Yes, to my face. Just like that. Yes folks, racism is alive and well in the USA and Montana does not seem to be any different.

I see the posts on Facebook about being all mad about having to press 1 for English. Did you know I spent over 30 minutes pressing buttons on the phone the other day to get to a real person and I never once had to press anything to speak to anyone in English? It wouldn't matter if they took that option off of there, you'd still have to spend 30 minutes of your life pushing buttons. Everything is automatic and convenient, just the way we wanted it. Pressing 1 for English might just keep you from getting stuck speaking to someone from a foreign country that you wouldn't be able to understand. It's not like businesses actually hire in the US anymore. Is that 1 second for that 1 button really worth griping over? I have an idea, let's teach our children another language so that they have the skills to live and communicate in an ever-shrinking world. Instead of keeping it English only.

I wrote an Argumentative Essay for college. I'm going to share it here. You may disagree with my stand on the topic, my professor sure did. I still got an A because I argued the point well. Hopefully you will see it the same way. The works cited part will probably be a mess, please excuse that.


One Nation Under English

The United States has always been a nation of many languages. Because of the large role that the country plays in world affairs English is a language that is widely used around the globe.  The English language has been declared the official language of many countries, but the United States of America has never declared an official language. In 1780, John Adams proposed a government-sponsored Academy of the English Language. According to an ACLU briefing paper, “the proposal was ‘rejected as undemocratic and a threat to individual liberty’ by the Continental Congress” (The American Civil Liberties Union). Recently there has been a strong drive to make English the recognized language of the U.S. However, to declare a national language for the United States of America would be a grave assault on the intentions of the Founding Fathers when they created this country.

It is important to remember that the United States of America is a nation of immigrants. Diversity is what has always made the United States great. Each ethnicity, culture, and language brings a special flavor to all that makes us distinctly American. According to the CIA’s World Factbook, people who speak English as a first language only account for 4.68% of the world’s population. Spanish “first language” speakers account for 4.88% (Central Intelligence Agency). Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the world. In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau declared that there were over 279 million people in the United States. Of those approximately 224 million were English-only speakers. That leaves over 54 million people who speak other languages, more than 34 million of whom speak Spanish (U.S. Census Bureau).

Despite these numbers, there are still numerous attempts across the country to make English the official language of the United States. In an MSNBC report, Alex Johnson writes that “The United States has no official language, but 28 states have declared English their “common” or “official” language. Since January, numerous new initiatives have been introduced at the state, local and federal levels to either declare English the “official language” or to strengthen existing declarations” (Johnson). To sum up their argument, “A nation of immigrants needs a national language,” Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., said last month in introducing legislation that would make English the “national language” (Johnson). Opponents of English only legislation say the movement is motivated by anti-immigrant sentiment and is undeniably racist. The current tendency to declare English as the official language of the United States is based on a fear that we are being invaded by “foreign groups” that will somehow change us as a nation. We feel that we must draw a line somewhere. To some, that means declaring English the official language of the U.S.

I accept that people have opinions different from mine about this topic. There are people who do make reasonable arguments in favor of this argument. According to their website, “U.S.ENGLISH, Inc. is the nation's oldest, largest citizens' action group dedicated to preserving the unifying role of the English language in the United States” (U.S. English). U.S. English says that “Declaring English the official language is essential and beneficial for the U.S. government and its citizens. Official English unites Americans, who speak more than 322 languages (2000, U.S. Census), by providing a common means of communication; it encourages immigrants to learn English in order to use government services and participate in the democratic process; and it defines a much-needed common sense language policy” (U.S. English).

One idea of the Official English movement is that if everyone speaks the same language, it facilitates assimilation and saves the government money. If we duplicate government services in multiple languages, there is no incentive to learn English. If people don’t learn English they develop their own cultural enclaves instead of assimilating, possibly causing racial and ethnic conflicts. Making English the official language is supposed to prevent this. However, teaching people English as a second language would not completely eliminate the need for forms in other languages. Even native English speakers can have trouble understanding government forms, so it has to be a bigger challenge for people who speak English as a second language. Providing forms in other languages ensures that people can fill out important documents correctly. I also do not believe that everyone should have to assimilate into one culture. Diverse cultural backgrounds constitute who we are as a nation. We should promote and celebrate them. As long as people respect the laws there should not be a problem.

Another idea of the Official English movement is that it will empower immigrants. If immigrants can learn English they can get a better education, better jobs, and be more productive members of society. The problem with this idea is that while English-only legislation does force people to learn English, it does not generally include any provision for the classes that will teach people the language. “The ACLU believes that “English Only” laws are inconsistent with the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. For instance, immigrants may not be able to defend themselves in a courtroom. Laws that have the effect of eliminating courtroom translation severely jeopardize the ability of people on trial to follow and comprehend the proceedings” (The American Civil Liberties Union).

English-only legislation does not explicitly promote stereotypes, but it does have the effect of causing people to disparage people who speak languages other than English. For example, some people assume that all non-English speaking Americans are illegal immigrants who should not be here. English-only legislation reinforces the argument that speaking another language is a negative trait.

The United States of America has always been a country of linguistic, ethnic and religious diversity. It was founded on the principals of having the freedom to choose. My Elementary Spanish professor, SeƱora Curtis, does not believe that the United States should declare an official language. She feels that “The United States should be what it supposedly represents, a refuge for all races whose languages should be respected as well as their cultures” (Curtis).

I agree completely. The use of ancestral language is an inalienable right and the country should not have a single official language, just as it has no official religion. To declare an official language would be a huge regression for the United States in freedom, liberty and justice for all.


Works Cited


Central Intelligence Agency. "The World Factbook." 2009. Central Intelligence Agency. 24 November      2009 .
Clinton, William J. "EXECUTIVE ORDER 13166." 11 August 2000. United States Department of             Justice: Civil Rights Division. 24 November 2009      .
Curtis, Senora Julianne. Should English Be Declared the Official Language of the U.S.? Shannon McMillan. 1 December 2009.
English First. 2009. 24 November 2009 .
Johnson, Alex. "Pro-English Measures Being Revived Across U.S." 15 June 2009. MSNBC. 24    November 2009 .
ProEnglish: The English Language Advocates. 24 November 2009 .
The American Civil Liberties Union. "ACLU Briefing Paper Number 6 "English Only"." The 'Lectric         Law Library. 24 November 2009 .
The Center for Immigration Studies. 2009. 24 November 2009 .
The Federation for American Immigration Reform. 2009. 24 November 2009 .
"The Official Language of the U.S. and its Impact on the Translation Industry." 2007. Strictly Spanish,       LLC. 24 November 2009 .
U.S. Census Bureau. The 2009 Statistical Abstract. 24 November 2009   .
U.S. English. 2009. 24 November 2009 .

Friday, January 6, 2012

Everyday Incivility: An Illustrative Essay

This one seemed appropriate after the day I had considering I was feeling like being anything but civil today. However, the original tone of the essay was supposed to contain a bit of humor. If you know me well enough, you'll find the humor in it. If not, well...I suppose that might be a good thing! The stories contained in here are shortened to fit the word requirements of the essay and it certainly isn't every story that could be told. My husband enjoys telling them immensely, so just ask him!


Everyday Incivility
Incivility has become quite common in public places. Take me for example. During my pregnancy with my first son I experienced many acts of discourteousness and responded in like-fashion. In one instance I was eight months along and doing a late night shopping trip. I was tired and wanted to go home after a long day working. There was only one lane open and it was a long line. A new checkout lane opened and I got in that line while my husband maneuvered the cart to follow me. A man sprinted to get in front of me, but I got there before he did. The man tried to go around me with his cart because I didn’t have anything in my hands. He gave me a long-winded lecture about how standing in line when you have nothing is wrong. I explained that my husband was coming right behind me. The argument escalated when he threatened to push me out of the way and bumped me with his cart. I threatened to hit him if he hit me with the cart again. When he threatened to call the cops I responded quite matter-of-factly, “They won’t get here in time.” That obviously wasn’t the best way to handle it, but I got through the line and went about my business with no further problems from him.
In another instance I was in a shopping center during the same pregnancy. We were walking into an aisle where a man and a woman stood arguing about which of them should take responsibility for their children, yelling back and forth “They’re YOUR kids!” The two children were in the aisle kicking and hitting each other. When one of the children kicked me in the stomach, my husband and I became concerned about our unborn child. I made the remark that they needed their butts smacked for behaving that way. The man took offense to my observation and ending the fight with his wife, immediately claimed “his” kids. He said he would punch me for threatening his kids. After some vulgarities being hurled back and forth between us, his wife led him by the shirt collar one way and my husband led me by the hand the other way. We both continued to hurl insults and threats at each other all through the store and in the end looked no more mature than his children had.
A more recent example would be during a trip to Costco with my family. My husband and I were walking into the store with our two young boys when a very large man shoved my oldest out of his way. He walked off without an apology or an “excuse me”. I stated that he was just being an asshole and he overheard my comment. Deciding he had enough time to argue with me, but not enough to have said excuse me to my son, he started hurling insults at me. When I told him he could kiss my ass he told me it would take all day. I responded with, “have you looked in a mirror lately?” and, surrounded by the laughter of the people around us, he stalked away angrily.
Of course, I’m not the only uncivilized person in today’s society. Take for example the customers that come into my husband’s place of employment. A man walked in a couple of days ago and told my husband to fuck off because he couldn’t have another free phone. He had dropped his phone in the toilet and since that phone had been free; he wanted another phone for free. There is also the instance where two parents came in yelling profanities at my husband because their children, who were dating, had been sex-ting each other and they thought the phone company should be responsible. This is just a sampling of the people my husband deals with during the week.
The sad truth is that you need only walk out of your front door to find examples of the incivility of people in public places. Incivility has become so common in public places that it has become a normal part of life.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Coffee House: A Descriptive Essay


The Coffee House
Winter is approaching; I feel the chill in the air. I hurry across the parking lot and stoop under a canopy of colorful flowers that will soon need to be taken in out of the cold weather. I open the door and I’m welcomed by a warm blanket of air that envelopes me in the rich aromas of fresh coffee and baked goods. Stepping into the coffee house and closing the door behind me, I lock the chill of the cold fall day outside.
Live plants are positioned around the room, their leaves casting shadows in the muted lighting. The dark blue ceiling appears low enough to touch. Pine wood panels cover the bottom half of the walls. The tan color on the top half of the walls is a shade darker than the pine, tying the pine wood panels to the darker color of the ceiling. Various works of art hang on the wall. I feel as though I’ve stepped into the den of a country home. Overstuffed chairs in shades of green, blue and maroon are arranged into mini-living rooms with matching pine end tables and coffee tables. Sets of dining tables are set comfortably apart with padded forest green chairs. The blue carpet has maroon running through it, tying the whole color scheme together into a nice country setting. The ceiling fans are on, moving just enough to keep the aroma of coffee and baked goods circulating throughout the room. The front of the counter is open, revealing an array of delicious-looking baked goods arranged in wicker baskets.
A man is seated in a corner of the room, his coffee cup in one hand and a newspaper in the other. A group of older women are chatting happily as they crochet, hooks flying skillfully through the yarn as they talk. They smile as I walk toward the counter, nodding their hellos. I place my order with the man behind the counter and he expertly creates my perfect blend of coffee, milk and caramel. My fresh hot coffee warming my cold hands, I walk to one of the dining and rest in one of the padded chairs. The whirring of the coffee grinder, the gurgling of the coffee brewing, the bubbling of the steamer warming the milk and the humming of the refrigerator create a relaxing symphony of sounds. I take a sip of my hot coffee, relishing the warmth. My eyes get heavy and I settle to the sounds and smells of the coffee shop. I can hear the man moving behind the counter and it carries me back to memories of my mother moving through the kitchen making Sunday morning breakfast. The rustling of the newspaper as a page is turned reminding me of my father at the dining table reading his paper. I feel as though I have come home. The serenity of the coffee shop is only interrupted by the occasional rush of traffic sounds as the door is opened by the next cold customer eagerly awaiting their taste of home.