Playing with sidewalk chalk and coffee

“The sun is new each day.”~Heraclitus, Greek philosopher

Who doesn’t love sidewalk chalk?

There’s something delightful about chalk. Not the small, tighty-whitey type you find in school chalkboards–that is, if chalk is still used in classrooms–but the fat, chunky pastel kind. It coats your fingers in colorful dust while drawing whatever you choose. The colors are not so complex as crayons; there’s no deep thought process needed. Simple.

Simple and fun. Children draw hopscotch squares, at least they still do in my neighborhood. I can’t pass one by without hopping the scotch squares. College students draw arrows directing you to some event. I’ve written “welcome home” messages on our driveway when my husband returns from a long business trip.

Chalk is permanent in a temporary way. Water will wash the drawing away, but the memory is always there.

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“Miracle Mocha” drinks are our standard, hot or cold. The scones are baked local.

I love stores that embrace customer participation. A lot of those tend to be coffee shops. There was a Starbucks in northwest Pennsylvania, just across the Ohio border, with a pushpin corkboard that proudly asked customers “How far did you travel to this Starbucks?” My husband and I always passed it on the way from Michigan to Penn State, and we loved stopping in there to see it. The store’s remodel removed the corkboard, which is among my Top Ten Saddest Decisions Businesses Have Made list.

One coffeeshop that still encourages customer interaction is Miracle Coffee here in Michigan. The store we go to is located on 14 Mile Rd., and while we’ve only been there about a dozen times in two years, the owners know us by name and by drink. Their memory would have made my dad proud; he had a steel-trap-sharp mind like that. Dad would have been fussy over gourmet coffee–he was a straight up black coffee guy–but he would have liked the store atmosphere. I do, too, and one charm is that store has a chalkboard. Every time my husband and I go in, there’s a new question on the board. Today’s question: what super power and super name would you choose to have? 

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Of course, his love message is written in blue

My husband chose to write a message of love for me. I guess that’s his superpower: loving me. And that name is Champ.

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