Overheard at a Coffee Shop


I have fallen prey to the teary conversation in a coffee shop. More than once.

More than even a few times.

They’re not always teary, either. Sometimes they’re heated. Sometimes they include too-passionate declarations and mountain-top experiences. They always include a good friend who’s either helping me work through something, asking me to help him or her work through something, or possibly extremely angry at me (only for the moment, of course).

But all the time I was analyzing a current situation or trying to figure out WHAT THE HECK I SHOULD DO, I assumed I was being covert.

No one could hear me, right?

I’m quiet.

And contained.


Last week, as I was innocently grading Latin quizzes, I overheard the following:

“Oh my gosh, hi! How are you? I haven’t seen in you in forever! How’ve you been?!”

[I didn’t look up, but imagine an eager twenty-something embracing a sitting-down twenty-something.]

“Well,” the other young woman said, “I’m currently identifying and working through some childhood trauma.”


And despite the sadness of the facts that sentence declared, I had all I could do to keep from smiling. What a response to a well-meaning question…!

The two proceeded to discuss said trauma and identification and working-through, and I tried to focus on my grading. Then I moved to writing, hoping that creativity would keep me from listening.

I am (in this case) a wonderful multi-tasker.

That wasn’t all.

The same day – during the grading of the same quizzes – I heard an in-depth account of underage drinking that resulted in barfing all over the back of a minivan.

[“I hope no one can hear us,” the boy said, looking around nervously. I kept my head down.]

It was an eventful experience.

What did I come away with?

Shut up about my traumas in coffee shops.

Trying to Beat the Winter Doldrums

IMG_1342A rainy afternoon in one of my favorite towns with some of my favorite people.

We made two coffee stops, because that’s how we roll. It’s called “I have a giftcard to this place,” and “But I want to go to this cozy, independent coffee shop!”, so instead of fighting we did the only logical thing: we went to both.





IMG_1336Cousin-love. A shout-out to my college-stuck cousin. It’s weird – I kept counting wrong when we were making plans. It just feels wrong without her.



My mocha was BY FAR the best drink at the table. Sorry, guys.

We wandered aimlessly around Banana Republic. So much pretty! I made a mental list for later…


It was rain-snowing, so our walk down the brick walkways was short.


[Isn’t this great?! If I ever open a store, I’ll probably stress out more about the name than anything. I should start brainstorming right now. Except it kind of depends on what type of store we’re talking about.]

On the ride home, we listened to Fleet Foxes, John Mayer, and the Lumineers. It was a good day, even if we didn’t see a ray of sunshine.

A Good Day

Yesterday was a good day. I woke up and attempted to give it to the Lord — largely because I hoped if I did that, He would make it good. But I’d done the same thing the day before [Lord, this is Your day. Help me to live it well.] and He had not made it good, at least by my standards.

Here I was again, asking that He take this block of time and make it good. The way I wanted it. This time He decided to fill it up with some Catherine-type-goodness:

1. I sent in my application and downpayment for a TEFL program in the city. I can’t tell you how accomplished I feel, just putting that stupid envelope in the mail (yes, that’s right, envelope, because they don’t take online payment! What is this, the 20th century?!). Now to wait it out and see. A full month of school — does it get any better?

2. 30 minutes with a dear friend. 30 minutes in which I was asked about how I truly was, and truly asked in return. 30 minutes in which I was told my poetry submission to the student-run publication had caused the most conversation of all. Score. And 30 minutes to remember that we are not called to love others only when they are happy, excited, beautiful, but that we have enough love for them even when they are a darker version of themselves. Friends remind us of a lot.

3. And this one is the most embarrassing: laughing out loud roughly five times in a crowded Starbucks. Alone. Curled up in a comfy chair. Reading. I couldn’t believe myself. I NEVER do that, but Bill Bryson had me in fits of giggles in public, and, frankly, more people should’ve joined me. That man is hilarious.

Ah. Goodness.