Friday, May 31, 2013

From the corner of a small town cafe...

Picture yourself in a small town.
For some of us, this may not be too far from our everyday reality.
For others, a small town may be around 300,000 people.
I certainly relate more to the former.
Living in South Dakota,
there's no escaping small towns and the quarks that come along with them.
I was thinking of the atmosphere of a small town
from the moment I set foot in a little cafe this morning,
where I met a professor to work on our research.
Picture the Bluebird Cafe in Mayberry on The Andy Griffth Show--
only smaller and without the charm of Barney Fife 
to keep things lively.
As I walked inside, the aroma of coffee filled the air
along with the chatter of elderly folks.
(I used to hate it when my mom would use the word "folks"
when I was growing up, but it seemed appropriate in this situation. 
So I don't have to feel like too much of a hypocrite.)
While Dr. Kemmer and I were visiting over our chicken noodle soup,
it was impossible for me not to notice how dated the place was.
As the waitress walked away from our table, 
I noticed the back of her shirt read "Serving you for over 35 years"
and from the looks of the place,
it hasn't been renovated or updated over the course of those 35 years.

Between the old fashioned malt machine and ancient cash register to
the casual gossip of the usual customers,
I couldn't help but soak up the feeling of being a part of this community.
Working on research, no matter the location,
my mind tends to wander after a certain point.

At one point a lady at the table next to us was talking about dancing.
Yes. I was eavesdropping.
That's how you fit-in in a small town, right?
She was telling the man and other woman in her company,
"There's only one man I like to dance with. That was my neighbor.
He was the best to waltz with."
 I could almost picture the woman in her younger years,
dancing beneath the dim lights of a county dance.
I don't have a stereotypical imagination at all, 
do I?
Overhearing these nostalgic conversations and talk of the weather and gas prices
reminded me of living simply.
I often get caught up in wanting the latest clothing and beauty items
and am always in a hurry to escape the midwest to bigger and better things.
However, maybe some of these people have it right.

Sure, there was the occasional grumbling old man,
complaining about "idiots" in society.
Sitting there, you could tell most of these people
weren't worried about appearances, deadlines or battling for the spotlight.
They were living in the moment,
soaking up the little things in life--
like a piece of pie with a cup of coffee.
(The future dietitian in me is wanting to preach about moderation here...)
Whenever my schedule seems to load up with projects and work tasks,
I love finding moments where I my perspective is opened up and I realize how much
more there is to life.

Appreciate the community you live in.
Find the good in your day.
And enjoy that second sliver of pie...
Yup. You heard it from me.
(Just don't make it an hourly occurrence or the ADA might ridicule me a bit!)
Because life is too short to breeze by these simple pleasures.
 Happy Weekend!

1 comment:

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I love your kind words :)