I woke up one Sunday morning at a camp high atop a mountain in rural western Virginia. I had arrived in the dark the night before. We were running late for church so the camp director suggested we all just grab a bowl of cereal from the camp kitchen.
“Oh, that’s okay,” I said, “I’ll just grab something from Starbucks on the way.”
Immediate, spontaneous, uproarious laughter burst forth from the group. I was confused.
For the next half hour we wound our way down the mountain to a church nestled in the valley below. We passed small tobacco farms, lovely vistas, a modest home here and there, a few stray dogs, a covered bridge and, finally, a creek. What we didn’t pass was any business establishment whatsoever. No gas station, no cafe and certainly no Starbucks.
Turns out, back then, the nearest Starbucks was 100 miles away in Knoxville. Now I think they have a couple of them in Kingsport and Johnson City – about 45 miles away.
There are 7 Starbucks within a 5 mile radius of my house. Within those same five miles there is also another coffee chain with a few locations scattered about. And then there’s Tim Horton’s. And that really good – and unfortunately really expensive – coffee shop over by the movie theater. One of my favorites is the shop where my daughter and I shared the warm, delicious chai lattes pictured above. They serve really delicious, really healthy food there, too, but it’s a coffee shop.
So, lots of shops, lots of coffee on my way to church. On my way to anywhere. We are coffee rich here in the North. Maybe we need it more than our Southern friends. To keep us warm. It’s going to be another below-zero day today. Brrrrrrr.