The first time I saw people sitting at a table sipping coffee and reading was in a Boston book store over 20 years ago. I thought to myself then, why don't we have those in my hometown? Can a person bring a book into the shop, open it and read all day? How many coffees or teas must one drink to keep the table?
Next time I saw coffee drinkers not in a restaurant was in Seattle. At that time Starbucks was in its infancy. There were those little shops for take outs only with small tables outside for lingerers.Seattle was also the first place for coffee take outs, too. August being the best month to be outdoors in this city,I saw more folks chatting over their java. I admired them and the time they had to sit, drink, and talk with friends. I know, Europe has had this tradition for eons. But not the South.
I've never sat anywhere chatting over coffee. By the time I married the neighborhood kaffeklatsch was nearly extinct. Coffee and chatting were usually after dinner in a restaurant. However, since lattes have come into existence, I can enjoy a cup here and there. But sit for hours and read or watch the world pass by? Never. Until Saturday night last.
Our oldest son, who is the only unattached male of his community of friends, spends hours on the weekends at a local coffee shop. Since our small community has grown, so has the increase of coffee shops. "Shop" sounds like the old fashioned cafes where one can get a quick breakfast or lunch with one's coffee. "House" may be a substitute.
After a Saturday of errands, we weren't ready to go home. R and I decided to try out the coffee place nearby. New Experience. We called our son and asked him to meet us and instruct us on the modern manner of sitting and drinking.
Luckily, this night a jazz trio played. As I said to R, "This is our music; we can sing along." This was not jazz, our son said, but then again, he doesn't know the jazz his dad and I grew up with. We ordered our drinks and after emptying the cups, we ordered a light supper of sandwiches. As the music drifted in and around the patrons, I relaxed and thought, "This is nice!Maybe we can make this a regular stop." We thought of all our friends who may enjoy accompanying us next time, giving us someone our age with whom to chat.
The three hours we spent at Java and Jazz was quite an introduction. Since Saturday I've tried to figure out when I can drop by with a friend, but other matters seemed more pressing. I just am not one to drop by for a cup of java. Unlike our son, I have to have a reason other than needing a caffeine fix. I refuse consider surfing the web while sipping, or read the latest mystery and slurp. I can do those activities at home (and prop my feet). But come this Saturday, March 3, I'm going to listen again to the jazz trio and order a large latte.