bouquets of…apple peels??

Brriiiinngdundunnaaabliiiing…you’ve got mail. If you’re like me, this sentence is more likely to remind you of a cute, bookwormish Meg Ryan than a piece of seriously outdated technology. If so, you’ll well remember the line: “I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils….” Seeming to crop up on blogs and status updates around this time every year, this sweet sentiment is supposed to invoke the presence of fall. But not for me.

For two years during high school, I had the coolest job in the world. I was a barista. And not just any barista, I was a barista at a the kind of funky, artsy coffee shop almost unheard of in our town. Too small and too southern for “those hippie types” generally. I was so cool (seriously, I was)!

During one break, the owner had a family emergency and had to leave town for several weeks. She decided to put me in charge of opening the shop in the mornings. This also included taking over her baking duties for the variety of typical coffee shop pastries we offered fresh-baked every morning. Let me just say, the 5am wake-up was not kind to your average high schooler. BUT… I quickly discovered that there is a special kind of magic in coffee shops that early in the morning.

The shop windows fogging up against the chilly air, the quiet synchronized gurgling of four drip machines running at once, the quiet (and sometimes not so quiet) music of my choice on the shop stereo. Then...the apples. Our top selling baked item was our cinnamon-apple-pecan muffins. In truth they were just apple-pecan pound cakes baked in muffin tins, but oh were they delicious! I could have eaten them for days! It was the perfect sign of autumn.

Of course, I cut and burned and calloused my hands plenty (who wouldn’t chopping 15+ apples every morning), but it was perfect. Time stood still in this little, well-orchestrated wonderland. Customers would come in out of the cold and you could see all the morning’s frustration melt off their faces as they sipped their favorite drink.

So for me…forget sharpened pencils. The thing I love the most this time of year, the thing that signals fall has arrived and ready to be reveled in…give me a bouquet of fresh apple peels in a coffee shop at 5am.

1 comment:

  1. I love this post! I love autumn, I love You've Got Mail (I recently received a bouquet of sharpened pencils! And, personally, I'd rather have those than apples to peel), and this post just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy, like things in Autumn should.
    Scout (Charlie's high school friend! I blog at cardigansandoldwatches.blogspot.com, if you're interested :) )


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