For years I've had a variety of places to burrow into. Having writing space away from home was NOT. A. PROBLEM.
When I was working, I would leave early and get an hour of writing in at House of Java. When that place changed owners and changed names, I moved on to Cafe La Mo, Crust & Crumb, and Starbucks. Any of those place, but most especially my beloved Cafe La Mo, provided me a quiet, friendly atmosphere for reading, writing, and daydreaming. La Mo and C&C were favorite places for meeting up with friends and just talking and sipping a great cuppa. And, inevitably afterward, there was a visit to my favorite shop, Digs, or a drop in at Charity Thrift Shop. Without fail, there was something to separate me from my money and to happily carry home and add to my burgeoning collection of whatever. I have a lot of collections.
But all that has changed now. My new reality is very different. It's simpler, choices are few and what I'm used to is now far away from my new home base. If I was inclined to drive 30-40 minutes to enjoy a "California" mood, I suppose I could. But making that sort of choice would blind me to the new sort of beauty that surrounds me. In a town that has more than its fair share of empty storefronts, block after block, in fact, it also has little corners of possibilities. You just have to look a little harder to find them. And like all hidden gems, the unusual and unexpected, the something rare, can easily be overlooked.
So here I am, sitting inside my newly found something rare - The Subway/British Petroleum Gas Station. Oh yes. I didn't stutter. Subway/BP, my new hideaway. I'm tucked into a corner, my laptop fired up and I'm feeling the words pouring out of me. Outside the window is the levee that separates the town from the Mississippi River. The soybean processing plant is nearby and barges pull in to haul their cargo down the river. The Port of Caruthersville is maybe a mile way from the soybean plant and I have yet to discover what happens there but since this is a hardcore farming community, I'm guessing agriculture is very much involved.
Inside I am looking at a mini- grocery geared towards gasoline, drinks, and snacks. To my right is the Subway. People come and go; few actually sit down (well today they don't, anyway). T-shirts, jeans, and work clothes are the order of the day. There isn't a hipster in sight. I must admit to a strong sense of relief about that. With the people here, what you see is what you get and I'm liking that a lot.
So, for now, this is my new home away from home. They have an espresso machine that turns out a good latte and the clerks double as baristas. Time for me to move on and pick up a grande vanilla latte, hot, with a sprinkle of cinnamon for Don who is patiently waiting at home for his shot of strength.