Thursday, August 31, 2006

Overheard at Chipperfield's ... Part XXX ...

"So you're back from your trip?" asked J--, as another regular sat down at the table with him.

"Yeah," the regular answered as he pulled up the chair.

"Good time out west," asked J--, taking a drink of his coffee.

"Absolutely," answered the regular, "but it's good to get home."

"Ain't that the truth," replied J--, "So, anything momentous happen while you were gone?"

"Well, I had a funny run in with the RCMP in Saskatchewan," answered the regular.

"That so?" asked J--, intrigued, "I don't know if I could call a run in with the RCMP funny. So, what happened?"

"Well, you know those big signs as you drive down the highway that say 'When passing highway workers and police, Maximum 60km/hr'?" asked the regular.

J-- nodded in agreement.

"Well, they really mean it," said the regular as he picked up his coffee and took a sip before continuing, "I was sailing down the highway at about 110 or so. The cruise control was set and the stereo was playing. It was sunny and I was just chillin ..."

"I hear bad news coming," said J-- with a laugh.

"Got that right," answered the regular as he continued, holding his coffee mug in his hand, "So, I'm cruisin' down Hwy 1, and didn't even realize I was passing a police cruiser that had another car pulled over ... about a minute later there are flashing lights behind me and the RCMP cruiser is on my bumper."

"Oh oh," said J-- with a smirk.

"So I pull over, but as I do I look down and think - 'I'm getting pulled over for doing 115 in a 110 zone ?? What's up with that??' - but I pull over and the Officer gets out of the car and there is steam pouring out of his ears. This guy is steamed."

Other regulars have begun listening in, J-- is smiling broadly in anticipation of the story's outcome.

"He comes up to the window and I say "Hi Officer ..." and he lets go a blast of out rage: 'Do you see the signs on the highway that say when passing emergency workers you are to do 60 kms/hr ?? Do you know what that means?? Do you realize how dangerous it is for me standing on the side of the highway when clowns like you sail by at 120 kms an hour?? ...' and on and on he went ... My jaw was hanging down. I didn't even realize I had done it. So I said, "Officer, you are right, and I am really sorry." 'Sorry,' he says, 'Sorry won't get me to the supper table when I get creamed by a car on the highway. Sorry won't give my kids a dad or my wife a husband ...' I tried again, "you're right officer. I understand completely. I was being careless and I should get the ticket. My dad was a police officer who died on duty, I know exactly where you're coming from ...""

He paused to take a sip of his coffee.

"So, then what happened?" asked J-- still smiling like the Cheshire cat.

"Well," the regular continued, "the officer stood there for a moment without saying anything, then he asked me which Police Service my dad served with, when he died and how and so on ... The wind kind of went out of his sails. Then the officer said - 'well, I think you learned your lesson didn't you?' I nodded saying nothing more as he went on, 'I won't give you the 350 dollar ticket you deserve because you know how important obeying traffic laws are, especially when passing police officers.' I ventured a quiet "yes sir," and a "thanks" as he went back to the car."

"So no ticket?" laughed J--.

"No ticket," answered the regular, "though I damned well deserved it."

"You are so lucky," commented J-- laughing.

"That's what my wife says too," replied the regular as he picked up his coffee and took a sip, "but you know that cop had a point. I wouldn't want to be standing on the side of highway with idiots flying by at 120 kms/hr."

"Me either," answered J--, "I don't like driving the Harley down the highway alongside those kind of idiots either ..."

"Thank God for the men and women in blue who are doing their jobs everyday though," stated the regular quietly, "especially with a long weekend coming up."

"Ain't that the truth," agreed J--.

The two men sipped their coffees and in the background the jukebox warbled Steppenwolfe singing "Get your motor running ... Get out on the highway ... Looking for adventure ..."

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Overheard at Chipperfield's ... Part XXIX ...

The door opened and one of the regulars who had been on an extended break from town stepped into the store.

"Norm," called Ross as he looked up from behind the counter, "How are things?"

"It's a dog eat dog world out there, and I'm wearing Milk Bone underwear," offered the regular as he strode around the counter and began greeting a number of people sitting at tables in the shop, "My regular if you please Sammy," he offered.

"Coming right up," said Ross with a laugh, "I hope Chipperfield's Own with Cream will do ... it seems the beer tap is ... well ... gone !!"

"Sounds fine to me, my good man," offered the regular as he leaned on the counter.

"So, how was the trip?" asked Ross as he prepared the coffee.

"Good," replied the regular, "but as nice as it is to have a break, it is always nice to get home again."

"I'll say," added Kriss, as she came up from the back room carrying a load of Chipperdoodle biscotti, "Good to see you home? Been back long?"

The regular glanced at his watch, "oh about an hour or so ..."

"It took you an hour to get here," Kriss pushed out her lower lip and offered her best pout, "I thought you missed us ..."

"I did, but I thought I should check in at home first," offered the regular with a laugh as he took the coffee Ross had prepared and took a long sip, "Ah, that's what I missed ..."

Ross and Kriss both smiled.

"So, notice anything new?" asked Ross, looking like an excited school boy.

"New hair cut?" asked the regular as he took another drink of coffee.

"No," answered Ross, his right hand flying up to his hair to check whether something was amiss, "something else ..." Ross was clearly distracted now, and was checking out his reflection in the mirror across the room.

"Cool, a Juke Box," answered the regular as he looked around the room, "that's new ..."

Ross then launched into a short explanation of how he had come to acquire it, and all the work he had put in late one night doing up all the labels for the play list.

"What happened to the Stay-cation idea?" asked the regular.

"Shhhhhhh," Ross put a finger to his lips and looked around the store nervously, "Don't mention the Stay-cations for a while, Bonnie thinks I've abandoned that idea ..."

"Okay," said the regular, "mum's the word ..." he found a selection and dropped in a quarter ...

He finished his coffee sitting at a table listening to Creedance Clearwater Revival belting out "Bad Moon Rising" ... it was good to be home and good to be among friends ...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part XXVIII (an email reflection) ...

J--, came in with a piece of paper in hand. "I got this as an email today, and thought I should share it with you," he said as he sat down at the table with Ross.

"Your usual?" asked Jay-Dee from behind the counter.

"You bet," replied J-- with a smile.

"Coming right up," answered Jay-Dee.

"So," J-- extended the paper to Ross, "check this out:"

Ross took the paper and began to read:

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor.

The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life.

Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchenand returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.

After all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress."

He glanced around at his former students as he continued: "Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it's just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups.and then began eyeing each other's cups."

He paused again as his students looked at the cups in their hands and sheepishly looked at the cups in each others' hands. Then the learned professor continued: "Now consider this: Life is the coffee, and the jobs, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee God has provided us."

He smiled as he concluded his reflection: "Just remember: God brews the coffee, not the cups . . . enjoy your coffee..."

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Cheers !!!

Have you ever had a moment in time, when all seems right with the world?
A moment when things are just fine ... and you are left with a sense of awe and wonder?

Those moments are precious, and often they are fleeting ...

They may come watching a prairie sun rise ... or a sun set, depending on one's preference ...

They may come holding a new born child or grandchild for the first time ...

They may come standing on a beach, soaking in the sun ...

They may come walking through a garden and being overwhelmed by the smells, the colours and the textures around you ...

They may come finishing a project or a handicraft for someone, or for yourself ...

They may come in the quiet whisper of a conversation over tea with a dear friend, or a cherished family member ...

Each of us have our own list of special moments. Moments we could dare to say are Holy moments when we feel that God is in His heaven, and the planets and the cosmos are turning and unfolding as they should ... Cherish those moments. Savour them.

Take them as a gift, and hold on to them ... they come to all of us in abundance and in profusion - the problem is, sometimes we are simply too busy to appreciate them ...

My hope in the coming days, is to be able to sit down over a fresh, hot cup of coffee and take stock of those moments ... and cherish each one that has come, and I prepare to open my eyes to their abundance in my life ... and my hope is that you will too ...

Seize the moment ...

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part XXVII ...

"How's your neck this morning?" asked Kriss, as Ross came in the front door.

"Huh?" Ross looked puzzled, "why would anything be wrong with my neck?"

"Oh J-- just called to tell me about what I missed last night," Kriss motioned to the two cardboard boxes tucked in the corner, "he didn't want me to be left out."

"Great," muttered Ross as he walked over to the boxes and opened the top one, "what did he tell you?"

"Oh, just that your Stay-cation idea has hit a snag," answered Kriss cheerfully.

"Snag?" Ross asked without looking directly at Kriss.

"Well, a couple of snags," answered Kriss, smiling slightly, "the first one is Bonnie making you sleep on the couch, and the second is the reason all the tee-shirts and things were so cheap."

"For starters," Ross answered as he lifted a pile of tee-shirts out of the first box, "they weren't cheap, and that was the first snag. And secondly ..." Ross feel silent as he held up a tee-shirt for Kriss to see.

The tee-shirt had a bold blue, red and white flag on the front, a flag Kriss recognized as Cuba's. She was about to speak when Anna came out of the kitchen.

"Cuba isn't spelled with two 'U's' Ross!" she stated in a very matter of fact way.

"I know," answered Ross, his shoulders sagging slightly, "and Rio isn't spelled with an 'e' and two 'o's either ..."

"Oh-oh," whispered Kriss, "talk about a major snag ..."

"I don't think there's a 'q' anywhere in Montego Bay either?" said Anna lifting a tee-shirt from the box ...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Overheard at Chipperfield's ... Part XXVI ...

"Ross what are you doing?" Bonnie's voice was twinged with concern.

"Nothing," Ross answered sheepishly, as he tried to push the cardboard boxes that had enraptured his attention until he was interupted, behind the couch. "Hey, did you get your hair done today?"

"Ross!" Bonnie's voice took on a stern, parent-like edge, "what's in the boxes?"

"What boxes?" asked Ross glancing at the glass topped table in front of him, "I don't see any boxes."

"The boxes you are trying to hide behind the couch," Bonnie motioned to the reflection in the picture windows, which clearly showed two boxes hidden from view behind the couch.

"Busted," snickered J-- from the other couch, "might as well owe up ..."

Ross sighed heavily as he pulled the first box from behind the couch, "It's for the Stay-cation idea." He said quietly.

"How much?"

"It's not the price that's important," offered Ross in a tone just this side of a whine

"How much?"

"It's the sheer joy that this will bring people as they tell their friends about their trips to exotic locales." Ross paused slightly as his hands covered the top of the box as though he was protecting the contents, "What, with rising gas prices, people won't be able to travel like we once did. And with the increase of security at the airports, many will just choose to stay home instead of going through all the inconvenience of trying to get through security and customs ..."

"How Much??" Bonnie's tone was stronger, and the words clipped.

"Look Bonnie," Ross was holding out a handful of items for her approval, "It's good quality stuff. I got tee-shirts and key rings and some souvenior items ..."

"Dammit Ross, How much ??"

"And, I found out that L---- Printing in Brandon does lots of post cards for overseas customers, and they will give me the rejects at a discount ..."

"Tell me how much?" Bonnie's voice sounded exactly like the computer generated voice in Space Odyssey, that spoke to Dave.

"Um," Ross feel quiet, "I'm not really sure."

"Not sure!!" Bonnie's voice now raised to a tone dancing near shrill, "How can you NOT be sure?"

"Well, I bought it from a distributor in Venezula or Brazil over E-Bay, and ... well ..." Ross fell silent as he considered his next words, "well ... there wasn't a currency exchange rate posted, and I'm not sure how much Venezulan Pesos are ..."

"Are you even sure Venezula uses pesos?" asked J--.

"Shut up," hissed Ross, "you're really not helping ..."

"Sorry," offered J-- with a laugh, as he took a sip out of his coffee.

"Ross ..." it was all Bonnie could manage to utter ... her left eye had developed a strange twitch in the last few moments ...

"Yes Honey," said Ross hopefully, doing his utmost to offer a flirtatious smile to his wife ...

"Ross ..." Bonnie repeated, her eye still twitching ...

There was a very long pause before Bonnie spoke again. The girls behind the counter were clearly trying to make it look like they weren't paying attention, but everyone in the store was caught up in the suspense of the moment.

"Ross," Bonnie repeated for the third time. She was growing visibly calmer, and the twitch in her eye had diminished.

"Yes dear," offered Ross hopefully, only to be cut off by Bonnie.

"Don't interupt me, and DON'T say another word ..."

Ross' mouth opened to utter a "yes dear," but the shaking of J--'s head altered his direction, instead Ross sat silently.

"I will deal with you in the morning, in mean time you WILL be sleeping on the couch tonight, and perhaps for the foreseeable future ..."

"Yes dear," offered Ross in a whisper.

"I said not another word," Bonnie then turned and headed to her office. The girls behind the counter suddenly became very busy with things behind them.

The door slammed and Ross turned to J--.

"Think she's mad?" he asked hopefully.

"Oh yeah," offered J--, "If I were you, I'd be buying flowers tomorrow morning when the shops open ... lots of flowers ..."

Ross reached into the box sitting on his lap and pulled out a pink tee-shirt that read "I love Rio". He held it up to J-- as he asked, "think she'd like this ?"

J-- just shook his head ...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Overheard at Chipperfield's ... Part XXV ...

J-- was checking lottery numbers as one of the other regulars sat down.

"Checking your numbers?" asked the other regular.

"Yeah," J-- answered without looking up, "I bought a ticket on a lark. Afterall, for 42 Million, what could I really lose other then a couple of bucks."

"What would you do if you won that kind of money?" asked the regular as he picked up his coffee and took a sip.

"First thing I'd do," answered J--, looking up from the paper, "is give a couple hundred thousand to the Day Care group in town so they could get their building up. Then I'd give a couple hundred thousand to the Station Group, The Heritage Village group, and the United Church to get their building up too."

"Church couldn't take the money," stated the regular in a very matter of fact tone, "it's lottery money, and the United Church frowns on lottery money."

"You mean if I called them and offered them a cheque for a quarter of a million, they would say no," asked J--.

"If you won 42 MILLION," the regular said the last word very loudly, "you would only give the church a quarter of a million dollars? You really are a cheap skate aren't you??"

"I never said I wasn't cheap," said J-- with a smile, "besides, I'd give money to the Anglican Church too, and to the other groups in town who need some help with their buildings and so forth. I'd use alot of the money for good."

"What about the rest of it?" asked the regular, "Gonna waste it on wine, women and song?"

"Can't sing, so it won't be song," answered J--, "and I don't drink, so it won't be on wine."

"Only leaves women," answered the other regular.

"Exactly," answered J--, with a cheshire cat like grin spreaing across his face, "and I bet 40 million would go A LONG way ..." stretching out the syllables on 'long'.

"Be nice to find out," mused the other regular as he picked up his coffee and looked out the front window of the shop.

"Wouldn't it be ..." answered J-- as he checked the final number on his tickets, "But it isn't for me to find out ... only two numbers." He crumpled up his ticket and left it on the table between them, "what would YOU do if you won 42 Million?"

"Oh me," the regular looked around the shop in a conspiratorial way before answering, "I'd take the money and invest in my old farm that my son runs. That way we could keep farming for a couple more years!!"

"Ain't that the sad truth," nodded J-- in agreement.

"Truer then we'd both care to admit," said the regular as he lifted his coffe cup and took another sip.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Blog Connections ...

While there are hundred and thousands of Blogs out there (good, bad and indifferent) ... There are a handful that I follow regularly ... One of them has a Post Card Exchange, where if you send your address the Blogger named Meow, will send you a post card in exchange for a post card.

Always up for a challenge, I started our trip by sending her a post card from each day of our drive from Minnedosa to the West Coast ... I didn't expect to see or hear anything for WEEKS !!!

Wrong !!!

Canada Post came through - BIG TIME !!!

Less then a week after I started mailing the post cards, the first showed up on the blog site. Then the others showed up the next day.


You can say many things about Canada Post, but in this case you can't criticize them for slowness ...

So, enough about this ... check it out - the post cards I sent are to be found in the August 2nd and August 3rd entries on Meow's Post Card Exchange Blog at:

Check it out ... and feel free to join the fun !!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A new business venture?? ... Overheard at Chipperfield's XXIV ...

"Ross, you can't be serious," Bonnie's voice caught the attention of almost everyone in the store, "if you want to invest YOUR money, feel free, but you are NOT, and I repeat NOT investing OUR money ..."

Looks were exchanged across the tables, as people smiled, shook their heads, or tried to make it look like they weren't interested in Bonnie's phone conversation, that was by now tops on everyone's agenda.

"NO Ross," Bonnie then growled loudly as she disconnected the phone.

"What's up?" asked Anna from behind the counter, while Jay-Dee ducked behind Anna, busying herself with a customers order.

"Ross wants to pursue this Stay-cation idea," Bonnie's teeth we clenched as she spoke, "He been contacting suppliers and finding out what it would cost to get the stuff he needs to put in them ..."

"What's the problem?" asked Anna, feigning innocence.

"The problem?" Bonnie was staring at her incredulously, "the problem is, he wants to invest money in this idiotic idea ..."

"Like I said, 'what's the problem'?" a slight smile, bordering on a smirk crossed Anna's face, "if he wants to use his money, what's the problem?"

"You're not married are you?" said Bonnie, beginning to smile slightly, "because in marriage there is no his' and her's around money, unless you have way too much to deal with. You do things together ... or atleast that's the way it's supposed to be ..."

"Well," Anna was getting a smoothie ready for one of Jay-Dee's customers, "why don't you let Ross play with his idea if he can get a group of people to support him? Let him start with a couple of thousand dollars, and go from there. That way if he fails, it's not a big loss, but if it works you both will gain ..."

"Hmm," replied Bonnie.

"Crazy enough to work," commented J-- as he sipped his coffee at his table.

"It just might work ..." mused Bonnie, considering Anna's wise advice.

"The whole idea is crazy enough that it just might prove to be successful," said J--, "heck, with gas prices going through the roof by the day, people might really grab the whole stay-cation idea and save money while staying at home ..."

"Yeah, and for local puchases, you culd toss in a certificate for free coffees or coolers here," offered Jay-Dee as she served a customer.

Bonnie stared at her staff for a moment before answering, "I duno, in the fibre of my being this says 'Band Idea.' But then again, there were folks who said Minnedosa didn't need a coffee shop too ... I hate to admit it, but this just might work ..."

With that she turned over the phone handset that was still clenched tightly in her hand and began dialing Ross' cel numberthere was a pause before she spoke: "Ross, I think we need to talk about this business idea of yours, I have a suggestion ..."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Overheard at Chipperfield's ... part XXIII ...

(Subtitled: Getting Desperate for a Decent Cup of Coffee !!)

Kriss answered the phone when it rang; "Chipperfield's Coffee Company, how may I help you?"

"Do you do delivery?" asked the voice on the other end.

Kriss glanced at the number on the handset, it wasn't an area code, nor a number she recognized, "Umm," she hesitated slightly, "we don't usually, but under special circumstances, we possibly could."

"Oh," the voice brightened, "this is a very special circumstance." The speaker paused for a moment before continuing, "I'm dying for a good cup of coffee. I haven't had a really good cup of coffee for almost three weeks."

"Okay?" offered Kriss as more of a question rather then an answer, "Where abouts are you?"

"In BC," came the reply, "on English Beach watching the boats, the scenery and the beautiful vista that is the North Shore ..."

"Are you serious," Kriss voice bordered on a screech, "you're calling me from BC to order a cup of coffee?"

"Yes," came the quick reply, followed by laughter, "There is a Star---ks on almost every corner and more organic and Fair Trade places then you can shake a stick at. But you can't get a decent cup of coffee anywhere ..."

"Are you serious?" repeated Kriss now laughing.

"Yes," came the reply again, and again followed by laughter, "I would give my right arm for a cup of Chipperfield Coffee right about now," offered the caller, "The only thing that would make this moment in the sun on the west coast watching the scenery on the beach, would be a cup of Chipperfield's Coffee. The dark roast preferably."

"Well, I suppose we COULD deliver," answered Kriss cheerily, "if you were willing to spring for a plane ticket to Vancouver..."

"Hang on, I'll get out my credit card ..."

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Overheard at Chipperfield's ... part XXII ...

"So, did you read about the yahoos harassing Oscar Peterson?" asked one of the regulars as he sat down at the table, "Pretty sad statement of modern life ain't it?"

"You got that right," replied one of the two regulars sitting at the table, "It's the big cities, I tell you. People have no respect for anyone."

The other two nodded in agreement.

"Hey, maybe we should invited Oscar to move to Minnedosa," offered the thried regular, "he wouldn't have to put up with that kind of nonsense around here."

"Of it it happened, we could ALL deal with it," laughed the first regular.

"Yeah, and I bet the coffee here is better then that swamp water he used to hawk on tv," offered the second regular.

The three laughed as Kriss approached their table.

"What's so funny?" she asked.

"Just commenting on the yahoos harassing Oscar Peterson," offered the first holding up one of the dailies from Winnipeg.

"That's pretty sad," offered Kriss, "I can't claim to be a fan of his music, but I KNOW he deserves better treatment then that."

"We were just saying that we should write Mr Peterson and offer him a house here in town," offered the second regular, "we wouldn't let this kind of thing happen," he pointed at the picture of Peterson for effect.

"What a great idea," offered Kriss, "Bonnie could bring a piano in here, and we could see if he would come down a plunk away of the piano from time to tie just to keep things interesting."

"It would be great PR," offered the first regular, "Kinda like the press coverage little Kipling got last month with One Red Paper Clip guy."

"Either way, it's still better PR then Kipling is getting today!!" offered the second regular.

"You got that right," agreed the third regular.

"So, who's gonna write this letter?" asked Kriss, "it wouldn't hurt to invite someone like Mr Peterson to move to town. We would make him feel really welcome ..."

"You got that right," said all three regulars together, "you got that right ..."