I work part-time for a little coffeehouse. Days spill over with the toasty smells of coffee beans, learning the differences between a latte and a Capaccino, doing my best to memorize all the "regulars", and watching from behind the bar while the latest news flits around a table, connections spark, and even a few tears are cried.
The American coffee shop has become something of an icon...or maybe a stereotype to play off of in a hundred different ways. Where I work, we serve more than coffee. Experiences come free.
Here in the Midwest, winter is special. Cold bites any available skin the moment you step outside and snow piles higher than the fences (thankfully all of our animals know to stay where they will be fed...).
I'm doing my best to appreciate this winter wonderland, but for the days when I forget what sunshine looks like, I fall back on a cozy winter afternoon standby.
If people are upset because you've forgotten something, console them by letting them know you didn't forget - you just weren't remembering.
-Winnie the Pooh
I could go into a lengthy description of my forgetfulness...my procrastination, lack of organization, dreadful time-management etc. But one of my many thoughts for the new year is that it's time for me to stop chattering about my shortcomings. Not to sugar-coat them or act as if they aren't there - simply to think of them less.
After all, who wants to hear a girl rant when there is so much beautiful life to be lived?!
I have a strange relationship with the element of "change." I'm not always comfortable in new situations, with unknown people, or hard decisions. It can be difficult stepping from one season of life into the next, watching old friendships drift apart, or letting go.
But then there is Autumn.
Something about the rush of cold wind that turns my cheeks as crimson as the leaves....or maybe the pop of a campfire and shower of sparks as they scamper into a night sky....or the steamy waft of pumpkin spice swirling in my coffee....
Something about the tiptoe entry of Autumn reminds me that change is a beautiful thing. Letting go of the past feels less like a loss and more like sweet memories. Uncertain tomorrows become exciting new adventures. Evenings sparkle with laughter and treasures. Mornings become promises.
My Maker made a season for everything. And each one holds something golden.
Who says leaves die in the Fall? Haven't you ever seen them dance on the breeze?
Every book has it's own personality. Characters show off all different quirks, scenery whispers anything from forest breezes to salty ocean waves. The best stories aren't the ones that stunned you with their prose. They are the ones that left you feeling out of breath and a little like you stepped into another world.
Over the years, I've found that with every change of season I start craving certain books. Maybe because the first time I read that particular one, the lilacs were blooming. Or my sister bought me another and I read it on a rainy day...
Today, I've gathered up a little collection of my favorite reads for a summery afternoon, old-fashioned, new, and everything in between.