Neighbor Connie and I were waiting for Shawn to be mobile after her knee surgery to go out for coffee. I ran across the street for a few minutes last week and was totally shocked at Shawn’s progress. I had seen her gliding across her porch using a walker and had no idea she had switched to a cane. In her house that day, her cane was in the kitchen. She got up from a living room chair and hobbled to retrieve it. Amazing! That was just before the three-week mark after surgery. I’m sure I did not do that well with my best knee.

Connie and her family made a point of checking out coffee places when they moved here. She introduced me to two coffee roasting places in Waynesville. I don’t know if roasting coffee is a national trend or a local one, but it seems to be popular here. I haven’t read food news since we left the New York Times behind two years ago. Back then, the word “artisinal” appeared at least once in every food article. That would have been applied to bread, pastries, cheese, etc. The adjective for specialty beer is “craft”. I want to know what description would be applied to these coffee roasters. Maybe they are simply local. The locations of these two shops have fun names – Dellwood and Frog Level.

The businesses both have big roasters in the front with informal seating in the rear. The walls are brick, the floors concrete, and the spaces cavernous. The only elegant thing about them is the taste of the coffee. The Frog Level store had clunky wooden tables and chairs on the floor, with sofas on a raised area along two walls. Three young women were working on their computers, using the free wi-fi. That certainly beat the crowd and noise of many Starbucks I’ve seen. How I would love to know why they bought one cup of coffee and worked there for hours! When I write at home, I have wi-fi, privacy, and unlimited coffee.

There were four of us enjoying gentle conversation – Shawn, Connie, Connie’s daughter Marla, and me. If I wrote that what was said in the coffeehouse stays in the coffeehouse, you’d think we shared secrets or salacious gossip. Nothing could be further from the truth. Roasting referred only to the brew. For the most part, you would not have been interested in our weather, former homes, neighbors we know only by sight or by dog’s name, and dietary restrictions. For me, though, it was a highly satisfactory, fun-filled afternoon spent with people I love.

I took one photo, which was not good of anyone. Publishing it would imply I don’t love these people as much as I say I do.