Five Blog posts ago we wrote about how it felt natural to be a part of the Farmer’s Market in Leavenworth. Although we still feel connected to that community, we recently had to make the tough call to walk away.
In order to create something worthwhile you must edit.
My good friend Kait is a writer and lives in New York. She talked most recently in her Blog, Kait Gets Lit, about editing a story for her upcoming book (a collection of short stories that take place in the Pacific Northwest). In order for this specific story to work among the collection, she had to erase a part that had meaning to her. The fact is, the whole was stronger without it.
Argonaut has come to that point with the Farmer’s Market. The market became something we were killing ourselves to make happen at a detriment to our brick and mortar. The whole point in being involved was to add to Argonaut. The reality is, it was only adding a burden. This does not mean we are against the Farmer’s Market in any way. Just to say, this summer was not good timing. Hopefully, at another point in Argonaut’s story we may be able to add this element back to the picture. For now, I glean wisdom from Kenny Rogers when he says, “You gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em.”
The Gambler (1978), Kenny Rogers
One year ago Argonaut began. Three years ago Noah and I got married, six ago we met. Ten years ago I graduated High School. Twenty-eight ago I was born.
Life is made of moments and it’s funny how all those little moments add up to years. I remember thinking as a child that I would never be an adult; that would take FOREVER! My friend Aimee and I would frolic in the meadows by her house, not a care in the world, lay out on the trampoline eating gummy worms and laugh about silly things. There was nothing but us and what game we would play next. Now, I’m sitting at a cafe table, at my own coffee bar, and I’m wishing, if life wouldn’t mind, for it to move a little slower. When did that switch happen? When did it change from drudging along to running away?
Today Aimee stopped by Argonaut. I guess that’s what has my mind buzzing about time. I’ve known her since I was five. So many things (big and small) have taken place in the moments of those years. Our relationship has spanned almost 25 years, and although we haven’t known the little details of the ins and outs as much as we did when we were in grade school, it is one of those relationships that is a constant in my life.
When I look back to last year, as Noah and I were creating Argonaut- pulling up carpet tiles and painting the walls, researching equipment and writing checks- we didn’t know exactly what it would become, how it would bring us together, who we would meet, the challenges we would face, the joys. You can’t predict the future- you can never know what will happen until now shows up.
Now, Argonaut is so much more than a “Coffee Shop.” It is an Espresso Bar and Sidewalk Cafe where people meet to talk about classes they’re teaching, scripts, art, relationships. It is now a place people come to take a break from their jobs, a place to re-energize or it’s the first place they go before starting the day. This all happened in time and it took listening to what this town needed. I believe to be a healthy person and become the person you want to be, it takes time to listen. I hope Noah and I continue to listen and change Argonaut to the needs of others because that is what the service industry is all about: providing a need, a service to people. Everyday we open the doors (well, window) a new day passes by, more moments becoming years. It is funny how it all happens slowly but oh so fast.
This past week in Leavenworth has marked a series of 100 degree days. If you live here too and know the joys of a lack of air conditioning in your home, you know the method of survival: open the windows at night, close them before 7AM, turn down the shades and pray for a miracle.
Heat is a moving force. It commands a response. Whether it is going to the river to cool off, buying an air conditioner, sipping shots on ice or an affogato (shots poured over ice cream); there is a reaction to the heat. You can’t stand still in the sun.
I made popcorn the other night. The kernels are content to be kernels, minding their own business in their nice, round, little yellow bodies when… pop. Pop! POP!!
Can you take the heat or will you POP? And if you pop, what happens then...
This morning I am sitting at the bar outside Argonaut. Looking over the river, while I sip my morning americano I can see Wedge Mountain and Icicle Ridge. I get to do this because Noah and our new employee Hannah are running the shop. As I sit here, all the faces of our local regulars stop by. It is refreshing to be on this side of things, on the outside, able to have conversation with all these people without the barrier of the door. It’s talk about the day: what are you up to, what are you doing to keep cool, how’s school, what are you working on? This is the conversation of life and I am happy that Argonaut brings us together to know the details.
When I was a kid, I thought I was going to go into the medical profession. I wanted to help people, be a part of their healing. When I was a little older, I thought I was going to be a counselor. The one who someone brought their problems to, be a part of their understanding and soul searching. Now, I look in at Argonaut and realize in a small way, this is how I have mended my passions. Everyday, I get to hear your stories, your pain, your joys, you share your life with us and we are an ear to hear.
When I was a young one, just graduated from college in Seattle, I started work at a little cakery called Simply Desserts in Fremont. I’ve talked about this place in an earlier post, you may remember. This is a place that taught me so much about who I am and what I want in life; I am so grateful for that experience. It is interesting how a little shop can do something like that. All we did was make cakes for people but looking back at that time it was so much more than that. It was talks about music and the arts and literature. It was discussion of the newest movies and restaurants opening. It was learning how to serve others, putting the customer first. It shaped me.
Now Argonaut gets to be that place. As I look in, hearing Noah guide Hannah on how to pull excellent shots on our La Marzocco I think about how these are the moments that guide who we will be in the future. It is small, seemingly insignificant, but they still shape. Now, I am on the other side. I wonder how teaching will shape Noah and I. How can I bring a little of Simply Desserts to Leavenworth? I hope we can affect lives the way Phil and Stacy did mine.
As I look in, I am grateful for my past and I am grateful for now. I get to serve people, I get to hear about their lives. I have the opportunity to guide others in the ways of coffee, to provide them with a quality product I believe in. I get to share life with customers and with new employees. These are the things that make life good.
As I look in, my heart is full.