Here in Lisbon Falls, we have a few convenience stores. Route 196 is a busy road that runs from Lewiston to Brunswick (or Brunswick to Lewiston) and as of this writing, there are at least three possible places a happy motorist could stop for a spot of gas and a cup of coffee in my little town. Before I moved home, the Big Apple was my “go to” convenience store because it was within walking distance of my parents’ house. I used to stop there to get a cup of coffee on my way to the library for early morning blog posting.
A little further up the road, in the “mid-town” section of Lisbon Falls, is the Xtra Mart. I have a special place in my heart for the Xtra Mart because the men and women who work there are thoughtful and hospitable. Blog readers may recall the Sunday night I paid twenty dollars in cash for Jeep fuel and then drove off without pumping it. The folks at the Xtra Mart kept my twenty dollars in an envelope for me. That’s neighborly.
The Xtra Mart also gives away free coffee on the first day of each month. It’s a friendly thing and I’m sure it’s a nuisance for the Xtra Mart employees. If the first of the month falls on a school day, watch out because the “teens” from the high school lumber over from across the street and form a long line for free coffee. It’s not quite a village pub, but a stop at the Xtra Mart on the first of the month is sociable; you’re likely to see someone you know.
In an office somewhere in North Grosvenordale, Connecticut, someone has done a cost benefit analysis and determined that free coffee once a month is good for business.
By way of long introduction, I’ve decided to offer free coffee to my friends and family today. For better or worse, I own a Regal 30-cup coffee maker and I have all the accessories to serve coffee to a small crowd. I’ve got tea, cider, and some sparkling water. Yes, I’ve got Moxie, too. I made the Dibble Dabble and in a few minutes I’m going to start baking ginger snaps and sugar cookies.
The only thing missing is a large plywood pineapple that says “The Tour Starts Here.” Shockingly, I’ve got one of those, too, but it’s sitting in a Cambridge, Massachusetts garage right now. It’ll be here soon enough.
I’m not making any New Year’s Resolutions for 2014. I’m just going to live my life authentically and keep my door open to friends and neighbors like people used to do. I haven’t done a cost benefit analysis to figure out if this way of living is profitable, but I’m not a corporation. Amen to that.
The coffee’s on, my door is open.