So, a beautiful thing happened recently in my (to create accuracy allow me to be redundant) tiny little village, a full fledged coffee shop opened. Now, for those not familiar with my Mayberry R.F.D, this is a huge event for the likes of these here parts. It's become the social hub. The very first LIVE music performance is schedule for tonight. Can I wait? Barely! I'm clueless who the guy is but the company will be so lovingly familiar that I'm in. And it's for a good cause.
Naturally, this cafe has thrown the Wanna-Be-Coffee-Shop-But-We're-Really-A-Special-Occasion-Card & Floral Store into a bit of a frenzy. But such is the nature of contrast. The BCSBWRASOC&FS now has WiFi, comfy sofas and a rather large television hanging from the wall. I needed to buy a Birthday card and, thus, became privy. These changes were suggestions offered up all along by patrons and they said they'd try but it took a little dropping in business to do. They'll be fine. Though it's not 5th Ave (well, actually it is but not the NYC kind) they do have prime real estate when it comes to a commercial location. There is always someone within walking distance during lunch to grab a cup or two. And everyone needs flowers.
I've just returned from another tiny little village outside of Austin. A picturesque place full of coffee shops, art dealers & cultural venues. Insulated by Hwy 35, with all its ebb and flow of people passing through, Salado has an influx of influence. In my hometown, we are insulated by corn fields, cows and dry dead grass that, just three days ago, caught fire at the height of a windstorm. The open skies always give the illusion that the wildfires are closer than they really are putting everyone on edge. On particularly windy days, when the sky takes on a grayish-tan tint and the unmistakable smell of earth burning permeates the nostrils, it's no illusion. The fire is nearing that edge in us.
Last September, Salado suffered a flood wiping out over $2 million in homes and property. It wiped out one of my favorite sculptures, too. A mermaid that sat in a pool of water waiting for me to visit to take pictures of my children as they wade around her each time growing bigger, older. They are rebuilding and I was promised: She will return. Here, a family in our community lost their home to the fire. We will be rebuilding them. There will be no try, we'll just do it. A few blogs back I mentioned a Hip-Hop class my girlfriends wanted me to join. Well, I joined and am now finding myself performing for charity towards that rebuilding. I think there is no better reason in the world to put myself out there -- completely vulnerable -- period. But I'll probably need a strong cup of Bru first.