The clear blue sky and 70 degrees beckoned us to come play. So I loaded up the stroller and we accepted the invitation. A stop into Starbucks for a coffee, which poured over with every bump in the sidewalk, clearly the designer never pushed a stroller with a coffee in the cup holder. In this little beach town that we call home, our Starbucks is 100% business meeting all the time. I almost feel out of place in there with my double stroller and kids, the people who shallowly grin at you and are probably thinking, two kids, oh my, quelle nightmare!
But honestly, I never feel out of place in a coffee shop, not even snobby meeting people can mess that up. Perhaps, they could use a little sugar & fat in those sugar-free, fat-free lattes.
Someone once called this place a yuppie lake town, they were right, but I do prefer this to gunshots and gangs. High end shops and restaurants line the shores of the lake, the waters sparkle the most radiant blue, the community takes pride in their extensive landscaping of benches and flowers anywhere there is space. Boats pour out of the marinas all day long, gliding across the water, soaking in the summer. It’s a nice place.
Just a few blocks down is Caribou Coffee, I know, how I suffer. The outdoor tables are filled with the retired, older crowd and young people laughing and meeting friends. Bikers stop in for a cool drink. Ladies with their silly tiny dogs get together with their friends and their silly pets. They probably buy tiny cappuccinos for them too.The vibe is so different there. They prefer their coffee with fresh air, sunshine dancing, and water. I understand. I prefer everything with fresh air and water.
Down the street and around the corner is the post office, our next destination. People rarely smile there, rushing in and out. But, we take our time, we like it that way. We notice the boats and the bikes and the dogs. We look for sprawling shadows on the sidewalk telling a mysterious story. We watch the butterflies flutter through the flower beds. And the coffee spills with each bump (I should have gotten a bigger cup).
Across from the post office is a lovely little park, pleasantly titled, the Post Office Park, a place for neighbors and community. Sadly, though, as I’ve said before, I have never seen anyone else there. It’s fenced in, quiet, and shaded and we are frequent visitors. Today, we stopped in and played soccer with fallen crab apples, collected sticks and leaves. And for a few moments, someone watched the bees ever so closely (maybe too close) as they collected pollen. He answered their buzzing with his own, as if they were having the best conversation.
A beautiful older lady noticed the park and entered through the patina green iron arch, she smiled a genuine smile and her ruffled collar moved in the breeze, her diamonds sparkled in the sun. She watched Hudson playing with found objects and peeked into the stroller to see the baby. Then she hesitantly asked if they were twins, I laughed and said, “Oh no. Six months and nearly three.” Another glance towards my baby just to be sure I wasn’t teasing and she said, in the sweetest way, “Oh well, I never had kids, I guess I’m silly about knowing things like that.” I assured her that someone else had wondered the same thing three days ago. She watched the kids for a second longer and wished us a nice day. We did the same. I felt a little sad for her. She had kind eyes, they sparkled like her jewels.
For the next hour, as the post office goers rushed along, we got lost in the dancing leaves of the trees, providing us with shade and a quiet swishing song. I laid on the grass next to my girl and inhaled this intoxicating summery day. We listened to She & Him on my phone. Harper tried to eat the grass, Hudson tried to drink my coffee. We played more crab apple soccer. It felt like we were hiding in this magical glass globe, we could see out to the busy world, but no one could see into this lovely place where time is still…
but only because they never stopped to look.