THE GIFT OF WORDS


There is a time and place for everything is a saying that is banded about often. For me, Sunday morning is a time for words and words are key to opening the world. I learned my appreciation for words from my father and grandfather. Both read a lot and gave me the desire to read. The power of words are in their ability to transport. Unlike any other medium words are all-powerful. They transport both in time and place. How far we get transported is determined by our willingness to grasp the full meaning of the words we encounter. There is no short cut to getting to full understanding. All understanding comes via a dictionary. I had to learn that the hard way. I wanted to get the words without putting in the dictionary time. I resisted examining the meaning of unfamiliar words. My resistance stifled the growth of my vocabulary. Over time I have come to the understanding that a dictionary is an essential tool. I now check my dictionary as often as I can and am the better for it.

Sunday morning is my special day. Sunday morning is my newspaper day. Getting the Sunday paper and reading for hours is my joy. The importance of reading cannot be underestimated. I want to read for fun and encourage all to do the same. Sitting in a comfortable chair with a coffee and the Sunday New York Times makes my weekend. The feel of the paper between my fingers. The sounds and pictures created in my mind are always a joy. Giving that joy to my children is my goal.
Giving the love of words to our children is the most vital gift. We must give them that gift without reservation and allow them to express themselves. They will surprise and delight us. I love words because they have opened the world to me. They bring the outside in and the inside out. They transport and uplift. They transform and elevate. Giving the power of words transmits great expectations and challenges the receiver to greatness.

Let us challenge the children in our life with meaningful words. The love of words will open to them the broad expanses of life’s possibilities.

WHY I LOVE STARBUCKS.


So I am sitting in Starbucks looking out the window and wondering what to write about. Then a brick falls on my head. Okay, not really. But why am I here? A quick head count and there are at least ten people here doing a variety of things. Some reading, some just hanging with company,others surfing the web. We don’t seem to have anything in common, so I guess we are here because of what the store offers. The truth is the wares are over priced and mostly mediocre, but we still come. I come because it has free WiFi and the staff is accommodating.

So lets look closer. Lets start with the staff. The combination of green and black is genius. It reminds me of the tropics, of dark coffee beans and green leaves. It makes the staff distinctive, understated and approachable. The apron reminds me of an owner operated country store and says, “I’m going to do everything to make sure you find everything you need”. Simple by design and profound in its effect.

The dark fixtures and moderate light creates an inviting environment. You can sit in the open and feel as if you are working in the solitude of a back room. Just far enough away from the world, but close enough to look up and smile with the next seeker of solitude. The low light makes the food look more appealing. Have you taken a looking at the bottom shelf? Yeah that stuff is actually good. There is just enough of each item to suggest scarcity and encourage you to get yours before that underweight girl behind you gets the last one.

That soothing music and height matched layout of all the products. The art on the walls suggesting a place of contemplation. The use of seasonally appropriate color. Just enough to remind but not overwhelm. Have you notice that the displays are arranged in multiples of three? Is that just my Starbucks. Their I go taking ownership, the designer did her homework.

I am not a big fan of their coffee products, but I have discovered the bottom shelf of the food display. Today I have finally noticed that the design of the store is more inviting than most and that I love the environment that they have created. Each Starbucks store is a case study in design creativity and functional advertising.

I’ll be back. Even though they haven’t convinced me to buy more than one cup of coffee.