Ah… Familiar territory. Liam’s finally out of school and on summer vacation. This means I don’t have to cart him to school in the mornings anymore. With my new job starting an hour earlier than my old job and being 20 minutes more commute, this means my 2 hour morning constitutional at the Caribou Coffee in Royal Oak has shifted to about 30 minutes at the Burger King ½ mile from work – if I time it just right.
Aside from the GREATLY diminished time available and my laptop being on the Disabled List for the better part of the last month, my environment has changed. I can still get wireless at my new morning home, but the atmosphere is just less than ideal. Caribou has a cozy, but not crowded atmosphere, occasional friends dropping in, and some great jazz playing at a very soft level in the background. It’s perfect for thinking (aside from the occasional noise of the coffee grinder and milk frother).
Burger King is Spartan, austere, a bit corporate-crass, and has MSNBC playing on TVs in every corner. It’s hard to concentrate on peaceful thoughts when you have talking heads and pundits arguing the latest canned talking points in your ears. Plus, the coffee just isn’t good.
So now that Liam’s out of school, I took the first day of his vacation to get up a bit earlier and hit my favorite thinking spot again. It was like walking into Cheers and having everyone shout, “NORM!” I chatted up my favorite barista, Leanna, ordered “the usual” (mug of dark roast and a lemon-poppy seed bread), and opened the laptop to catch up on the mountain of blogs I subscribe to that had accumulated over the last month. I got through maybe 20% of it. Now, I have 35 minutes left to write a bit and get to work – which means about 10 minutes for actual writing.
I can’t do this terribly often, as the $3.50 or so for my “usual” can add up, and it’ll be nice to spend a few mornings with my family (even though Sonya & Courtney tend not to wake up before 9 voluntarily). I anticipate a couple mornings of eggs, coffee and toast around the kitchen table (if we ever get it cleared), and some nice shared morning breakfast time.
Still, I truly cherish this time and place. At the risk of sounding like a commercial, my mornings at Caribou are some of the few times I can sit, undistracted, and think clearly. I would love to spend a day here just writing, arranging, and catching up on …well…everything.
My time’s about up. You have no IDEA how tempted I am to skip work today and just enjoy the peace and nice weather, but responsibility beckons and I must heed the call. Well, off I go; from the comfy, peaceful atmosphere of a neighborhood coffee shop, to the gray…VERY gray, professional office.
I gotta get me a plant or something for that place…