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 from one another 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 arranged seating areas closer to the wall 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 reminds 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 his or her taste of home.