An Island Retreat Smack Dab in the Middle of the USA!
“When I was little, I used to get whoopin’s. Now that I’m fifteen, I don’t get whoopin’s. I get beatin’s.” The crowd roared as the standup comedian begin. “I asked my mom if she would ground me instead so that I would feel like a normal teenager. So she punched me in the face and I was grounded. Grounded meant that I was literally lying on the ground and couldn’t get up.”
Madison’s parents looked on proudly as their son continued to poke fun at them. “So when my friends asked, ‘Is Madison still grounded?’ my mom would kick, kick, kick me and if I didn’t respond, she’d tell them, ‘Yep, he’s still grounded.” The audience was in tears by now!
The beautiful smell of coffee whirled through the air as my son and daughter played along with a pro guitarist. “Hot cafe mocha on its way!” shouted Russell Thomason, the owner. He picked up his own guitar to jam along.
It was standing room only at the Main Street Coffee House. Although frigid cold outside with two feet of snow on the ground, the atmosphere was very warm and soothing. The walls were painted a hard-to-describe-but-perfect blue-gray with contrasting white molding and ceiling which drew your eyes in and then upward. The perfect color of a sea sky and white, fluffy clouds. Burlap coffee bags with stamped coffee brands from around the world decorated the walls. To tie in the theme, framed photos and prints of anything having to do with the bean, the roast, and the equipment of coffee lined one wall. Handcrafted pottery designed to hold the perfect cup were displayed and made available for sale.
There were many seating areas. A table arrangement for playing board games, comfy chairs for sinking in with a good magazine, seats lined in a row to enjoy the live entertainment, and a table and chair for wee ones announced that every thought was put into the planning of this coffee house.
Living smack dab in the middle of the U.S. and at the center of the technology industry, it’s sometimes hard to find connectivity and a slower pace. Parents usually go out to dinner while teenagers hang out at the mall or go to the movies. Smaller children spend time with babysitters on a weekend night. However, on 107 South Main in Independence, Missouri, something unusual happened. People were focusing on each other, not the T.V. or a movie screen.
I looked around and saw teenagers who were proud to be with their parents. I saw infants being held by older siblings, rebels talking to prepsters, and businessmen sharing with homebodies. Youngsters were laughing with elders and amateurs were playing with professionals. The people were as varied as the coffee.
Speaking of varied coffees, just about any kind was offered including, but not limited to, Kenya AA, Guatemalan Supremo, and Brazilian Santos. The price was very fair and you could afford to order throughout the entire night and all was served in comforting mugs, not styrofoam cups.
Various chais and tea lattes are served along with fruit smoothies. Flavors include strawberry banana, mango, and peach. The taste was fresh and natural sweetened only by Mother Nature, not overly sweetened by the addition of sugar and artificial flavors. Chicken Salad Pecan Sandwiches on a choice of various breads, brownies, and cinnamon rolls are also on the menu.
Main Street Coffee House hours are from 6:00 in the morning to 6:00 at night. On weekends they will open at the same time but close at 11:00 p.m. Open Mic Night such as this one are held every other Friday. Professional bands entertain customers along with new musicians, singers, artists, poets, and writers who wish to step up to the mic.
For a few hours, I forgot that I was smack dab in the middle of the U.S. and in the outskirts of Kansas City, home of Sprint Headquarters and technology central. It was as if I was on one of my island vacations where time stood still and everyone was completely themselves, completely relaxed with no appearances to keep up and no status to maintain. No one cared about your address or what title you held. No matter what color, age, or financial status, everyone fit in and everyone connected.
We discovered a retreat from the rest of the world where quality time was savored once again. My mind drifted away as I forgot about the harsh weather outside and the stress of everyday life until…
“Hey, wanna shot?” Russell’s voice gave me a shot of reality and woke me up from my island dream. He squirted a huge dollop of whipped cream on to a napkin and handed it to me for tasting as I shook off my vacation memories only to realize that I no longer had to dream but to head to the Main Street Coffee House any time I wanted a retreat.