I'm sitting in the corner of the shoppe....just watching. Can't seem to wipe the grin off of my face. Let me give you an idea of what I am seeing. It is Thursday morning around 11:00 so Ms Lynn and Ms Lori are in the corner with 8 children between the ages of 2 and 7, along with 3 moms, sitting on the floor around them eating cookies, listening to stories, singing songs and working on crafts. A couple, probably in their late 70's, are sitting at a small table by the door. Each has a cup of coffee but they are sharing a cookie. They look like they have been in love a long time. A young couple that appears to be in their early 30's are sitting near the story time group. One of their daughters just got up from the story to come over and share her cookie with her daddy. He made a big deal about her sharing, which made her very happy. Another lady in her 60's is sitting alone with a coffee and the everpresent iphone, just waiting on a friend that comes in later. The most patient person I have witnessed in several days came in 30 minutes ago with 6 of her kids, nieces and nephews. They are all between 3 and 6 years old and are all sitting around one large table. All at the same time there is a game of Jenga, a card game and 2 pictures being colored. Somehow she is keeping up with all of this with a big smile on her face. There is not enough coffee in this whole place to give you the energy to do what she is doing. She just exudes love and patience. The meeting room has been reserved for a group of 12 that is gathering to pray together for a missionary in Haiti. The missionary has a prayer meeting tonight in the middle of a heavily voodoo controlled area and has requested prayer cover from here. 3 college students are sitting at the computer bar with lap tops, headphones and coffee, oblivious to everything else that is going on. It is almost time for finals. Mr. Mike is sitting and watching his wife, Ms Lynn, working with the kids in the story time. I don't think he could look any prouder of her. It is still cool outside and the fireplace is going. Another couple of guys, probably mid 20's, are sitting in front of it with laptops, deep in study.
Somehow our baristas and kitchen staff are staying ahead of all of this while getting ready for the lunch rush. They are seemingly always happy, always efficient and usually calling the customers by name. It is just another late morning at Higher Grounds Coffee Shoppe & Bakery. I really love this place.