The Coffee Shop

I am trying something for the first time in the New Year.  Writing from the Coffee Shop.

I have thought about bringing my lap top to the Shop and enjoying the freedom of mobile writing and the inspiration of the people that pass by…for seven years.


I am not prone to snap decisions.

We have a few coffee shops in Carbondale but Panera seems to be a busy happening place.


Thus far the New Year is good and productive.  I have written eight pages, or the Forward, of my book.

Now I have written significant parts of books before but this one promises to be a more fluid experience as it is the story of my career at Southern Illinois University.

Mary Jane has been, gently reminding me, for many years that I could write a book regarding my experiences at SIU…and I finally decided to take her advice.  She is often right.

As I said, earlier, I often take a long time to make a snap decision.

It is cold here in Southern Illinois.  Bitterly cold.  Colder than it has been since 1998.

And, before the winter of 98’…the prolonged frigid weather for our region was 1989.

Our Boston Terriers have winter coats…but they do not like them.  Brody runs from his and then comes back into the house and shivers for several minutes.


As people pass the window of the Coffee Shop…they appear very cold.

Mary Jane and I, when considering a Caribbean  cruise for this year, had the option of January or the spring…the spring appeared better in September…now I have doubts about our decision.

Well, this year can be what we make of it.  I have found that there are many elements of life that I can not control.  However there is one that I can…and that is my decision on how to react to what life brings me.

Attitude is the key to happiness.

There will always be negative people who see the dark cloud hovering over their every move.  Changing a persons’ bleak outlook is an interesting challenge….but it must not take all of your time..

There is a transition to life after the Holidays.  For six to seven weeks, from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, regular patterns of life are disrupted.  Now, this disruption is often a enjoyable experience, but it is not ‘Ordinary Time’ as the Presbyterian Church would say.

However, the ability to see the excitement and joy and possibilities of life throughout the year…is the road that leads to happiness and purpose in the seemingly, Ordinary Days.


Peace in our troubled world begins with us.

I like to reflect on the many seemingly ordinary or mundane or repetitive elements of my life that I would sorely miss…if this was the last day that I could engage in them.

Now, there is a constant stream of hungry people entering the Coffee Shop.

I hear bits of conversations about; closing on a house, purchasing a cell phone, the terrible cold, and University matters.

I just saw the former President of SIU pass by my window.  A friend of mine.

Our life is comprised of millions of Ordinary Moments and repetitive actions mixed with love and concern and challenges and rewards.

A birthday celebration has just erupted!  The singing of Happy Birthday To You…sounded like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!

Is it not great to be…in the game!



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