“Today’s Special. Yes it is,” is actually the name of a book that I purchased while on a college tour with my son and family at the University of Minnesota.
The book title caught my attention. I turned to the back cover, where it read, “Sometimes life’s most important lessons are learned in the most unexpected places.”
I like reading uplifting, heartfelt, inspirational stories. Everyone needs a little uplifting. This motivated me to turn to the inside jacket of the book, and it certainly invited me to read more. The setting of the book was a small-town café.
The book read, “You can learn a lot in a small town café.” Definitely a short, but inspiring read for me. I love small town cafés.
The author, Warren Hanson, writes about his stop in a small town café while on a business trip. His intention for this stop was to grab a bite to eat, while moving on to more work. On his mind was more work, but also thoughts about arguments he had with his family regarding his time away from home.
What he left with was far more than just a full stomach from a hearty meal, “Today’s Special. Yes it is.”
My youngest daughter caught the double meaning to the title immediately. Children are so smart.
My favorite café, the Central Café in Lester Prairie, always has specials on the weekends, and they are divine. I love the food, but I go there for far more than the delectable french toast with caramelized bananas (a special), cakes with apples and dark caramel sauce (a special), or the hot cup of coffee with cream in a mug that advertises a local business or portrays a whimsical rooster, pig, dog, or cat (always available).
The café feels like home. It is a place where families gather for Grandma’s 80th birthday party, or regulars who go after a Sunday church service (my husband and I are two of those), or families gather to catch up on each other’s goings on.
It is a place where coffee clutches meet for their morning pick-me-up (coffee and camaraderie), jovial pokes, current events both local and national and, sometimes serious discussions about life’s inevitables.
The owner is the cook, and if she sees you come in from where she is creating her culinary masterpieces in the kitchen she gives a wave, smile, or greeting by name. Yep, this feels like home, and today is special. That’s how I feel every time I visit this wonderful small-town café.
Every person who enters is important, and has their own story. A bit of that story is shared when they sit down in a booth, or at a table for two or six.
Each party is sharing, laughing, and connecting amongst themselves, but opens up to the guests in the café with an acknowledgement of a head nod, a wave, or a hello or farewell.
This gesture conveys the message that although I am busy with my life, there is always time for acknowledgement of friendship, and just plain humanity.
I am lucky to be a regular recipient of all that I get when I enter, stay, and leave the small town café.