As a toddler visiting grandparents in our tiny hometown, my playmate was the little boy next door. We spent hours bicycling the gravel streets and back alleys together, floating rafts on sloughs, and (raiding the place on our tricycles) pinching sugar cubes off the tables at his parents’ small diner on Main Street.
My friend and I spent a lot of time there. Those must have been happy times because sometimes in dreams I’m there again and it feels so good.
The building is long gone but it’s with fondness that I recall the place: the hot summer days and the popsicles, the pop bottles dripping with cold water when lifted from the red metal Coca-Cola cooler, the jukebox, the wooden booths along the side wall, the glass and wood counter between the customer side and and the kitchen, the private room behind that, the lean-to built onto the side to store the crates of bottled pop . . .
But what if the diner still stood? What if it had been boarded up for 40 years but its bones were still straight and I bought it dirt cheap, did some updates, moved in, started cooking, and opened the door?
I imagined a person much like myself getting up at 6 a.m. on weekdays to start a batch of bread, then going for a walk down a country road with her little dog to the nearby lake as the dough rose. I saw her returning to sip on hot black coffee while perched behind that counter, laptop flipped open to record life as she sees it. I saw her sitting in the peaceful semi-dark, everything ready for the morning, bread soon to come out of the oven, before unlocking the front door to welcome the town people and farm people and travellers who would be stopping in.
This webpage has gone through a few incarnations since. It began as a series of fictional stories about characters and events at a place that exists only in my memory. A friend contributed entries too for a while. I maintained my blog at goldengrainfarm.blogspot.com and occasionally posted something here at Stubblejumpers Cafe. But I wanted everything in one place, and a new start.
So I deleted all the old stuff from this site and started fresh here: a letter to friends from the Stubblejumpers Café in my heart.