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Archive for June, 2008

I look forward to Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Those are the days when I drop my client off at her day program and then head a few blocks over to Penny Lane for a large Cafe Mocha.

Penny Lane is a funky, bohemian-style independently owned coffee shop located in the Haynies Corner Art District in the historic area of downtown Evansville, Indiana…just a stone’s throw from the Ohio River and surrounded by old Victorian homes built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

This coffee shop specializes in Fair Trade and Specialty coffees, herbal teas, fruit smoothies, and homemade vegetarian/vegan soups and salads. Everything is organic, and quite delicious.

But besides the coffee and food, Penny Lane is just a great place to hang out and relax. There’s comfy chairs to lounge in, shelves filled with a wide range of books, and original art hanging on the walls – most of it created by neighborhood artists and much of which is for sale.

And there’s the people. Penny Lane attracts a diverse crowd. At one table you might find a forty-something professional in a business suit, busy cutting a deal over his cell phone; at the counter a young man in his twenties, clad in a tie-dye t-shirt, baseball cap, sunglasses and flip-flops and sporting a large tattoo on his arm chats with a woman wearing a retro dress of browns and pinks that looks like it stepped out of a 1960’s shop window.

As I carried my large cup of chocolate flavored java (complete with a swirl of whipped cream on top) back to the sofa, my eyes fell on a small notebook sitting on the table. On the cover, written in black magic marker, was printed the question:

What do you love about life?

Hmmm…interesting question.

My curiosity piqued, I opened the book… only to find page after page of lists scrawled by various customers, sharing their own thoughts about life’s little pleasures. Some of their revelations were quite thought-provoking, some were rather hilarious, and others were simply bizarre. There were several I could agree with, and quite a few that gave me a chuckle.

But regardless, they all offered up a diverse perspective of humanity…and what makes people tick.

So without any further ado, I share with you…

Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Happiness – according to Penny Lane

  • I love the smell of fresh rain right after a storm
  • I love kids who truly think they are superheros
  • I love sleeping as long as I damn well please on a day off
  • I love a really good Bloody Mary
  • I love smoking on church steps

I love clean socks

  • I love guitar callouses and rough scarred hands
  • I love people who leave their Christmas lights up all year long
  • I love finding that been-through-the-washing-machine wadded up dollar bill in the pocket of your jeans
  • I love my grandpa calling passerbys “goddamn cockroaches”
  • I love second chances

I love fresh sheets that have been dried in the sun on a clothesline

  • I love drunks and kids…at least they’re both honest
  • I love chocolate brownies with peanut butter chunks in them
  • I love befriending a stray animal
  • I love being busy with my hands
  • I love great books, great art, and great music

I love the top down on my convertible and the wind in my face

  • I love early morning coffee by a campfire
  • I love my dad’s binoculars and all that they have taught me
  • I love laughing so hard that you cry
  • I love the way dogs pretend not to know how great they are
  • I love the way that cats know how great they are…and act like it

I love seeing an elderly couple holding hands

  • I love when I find out something new about myself, especially when someone else points it out to me
  • I love banana pudding with vanilla wafers
  • I love card games which involve a bunch of pennies
  • I love questioning authority
  • I love when a drunk guy comes into the coffee shop from standing out in the rain, and then sits to talk to me about how wet he is

I love the fact I was raised in a home of God, Jesus, and John Lennon

  • I love you bent over the sink in those tight jeans
  • I love smoking a joint in the tub
  • I love running into people I really like but haven’t seen in far too long
  • I love those little mom-and-pop diners and ice cream shops you find in small country towns
  • I love people who give a damn

I love Fiestaware

  • I love seeing all my relatives drunk at weddings
  • I love corn dogs and candy apples
  • I love the comfort of knowing you can handle yourself alone
  • I love waking up with someone’s arms wrapped around me
  • I love correcting pompous assholes when they don’t know what the (bleep) they are talking about

I love toddlers with their diapers flapping in the wind like little hiney flags, proudly proclaming “a baby lives here!”

  • I love my Birkenstock shoes
  • I love people who make the most of life
  • I love when friends become lovers, and lovers become more
  • I love having a full tank of gas
  • I love the old lady that walks down the street wearing the most ridiculous outfit, but doesn’t give a damn

I love the moon through the trees at night

  • I love openly farting and laughing about it…even at dinnertime
  • I love people who aren’t afraid to get dirty
  • I love tattoos
  • I love making up after an argument
  • I love having leftover tickets at a carnival and seeing the look on the faces of the little kids when you give those tickets away to them

I love the way puppies smell

  • I love listening to my grandma’s stories
  • I love feeling like I’ve accomplished something
  • I love old ladies in flip-flops
  • I love fresh skillet-baked cornbread
  • I love the way children have a sense of wonderment about things that we adults take for granted

I love my friends who stand by me

However stupid I may behave

However lost I may become

However I let me down again

They wrap their arms around me

Making me laugh


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