The Coffee Shop (Notable summer pt.1)

In sunny California there is a little asian themed coffee shop called “Limelight Java” It is filled with dozens of interesting people throughout the day, I knew them all, their coffee orders, and their funny tidbits of life they like to share before they’ve had their morning joe and a bagel. The stories I have from Limelight, the people I worked with there, and the hilarity that makes up any coffee shop experience really deserve a book — and maybe I’ll write it with the help of friends someday.

But for the sake of this story we’re going to focus on a beautiful middle-aged couple who come in every morning around 8 for a blueberry bagel with cream cheese, a plain bagel with cream cheese, tomato, and purple onion and a coffee each. 

These two have always been awfully nice to me and the other gals behind the counter — they always tip, always smile, and are always happy to hear a little of our lives. They asked about Lane, his training, the marine corps and offer to pray for him and tell me if I ever need anything in California to feel free to call them. They have kids around our age who recently moved to Nashville to follow their music dreams,  so they would love to treat us as they hope someone might treat their kids so far from home. They gave me a CD of the music their kids play — it’s bomb. (their new band-name is J-thoven  — get it? — but seriously look them up). These are the kind of people that make me feel like California isn’t all that superficial after all. 

Move back down south to Alabama, two kids have just come to Birmingham to take in the growing city. They play a little music and were low on gas and money. They heard about a  music competition on the mountain that might pay if they won. They stumble into the room and put their names down to play. Musicians from all over Birmingham take the stage one at a time to try their hand at the prize, among these is one little blonde haired beauty with red lipstick and a quirky way of keeping rhythm. (Speaking of music that is just the bees knees have you checked out this artist? do it.) And while the blondie (who has won this competition a couple of times) rocked — our weary travelers take the prize! Yay! My dad, if you know him, loves music and was obviously there, went up to congratulate the winners and talk to them for a bit. When he found out that they planned on sleeping in their car that night and heading back home the next day, he and my mom decided to invite them for dinner and, if they so chose, a bed at our house. Both of which they accepted, and — as the story goes — stayed up and had a jam fest with my fam that night. 
When my dad called later and told me the story, it didn’t sound odd to me, my family is always taking in strays. I told him that was awesome and carried on with my life. 

Around two months later a gal walked into the coffee shop and asked for a cuppa and said she was waiting on her boyfriend’s parents to arrive. When I saw Mark and Jan I started their bagels before they walked in, they paid and said hello and went to their table — half an hour or so later Jan came back for a refill. 
“You’re from the south, Right?” She asked 
“I am! I’m from Birmingham, Alabama” I said 
“Really? wow, hold on let me grab my ‘daughter-in-law to be'” minutes pass, “Hannah, this is Ashley and she was just in Birmingham! It must be the nicest place, I know people are friendly there because she has the most amazing story — this incredible couple took her and my son in a couple of weeks ago.” 
“Thats really cool” I say not thinking “People are really friendly down there…. …. …. Wait do you remember the couple’s names by any chance?” 
“Yeah… Dale and Gladys..” 

As you can imagine there was a weird moment as we all laughed at the unlikeliness of this occurrence. Here we were — the couple who had been so kind to me, prayed for me, and invited us to their church (where we ended up going for the remainder of our time in California) were parents to none other than the kid and his Gal who had stumbled into a music competition in Birmingham where my parents took them in. 

Its a coincidence I never want to forget. So I dub it “Notable” 

God can be funny, 



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2 responses to “The Coffee Shop (Notable summer pt.1)

  1. Rosa

    That was totally cray cray, that just adds to the saying “what a small world”.

  2. marygrace

    i’m so glad you’re back writing- you’re beautiful.
    i drink your words. they paint rich, cinematic scenes but with a precious humility in the way you see the day-to-day.

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