It’s seven a.m. at the Orange Blossom Café, in a town so small it could never hide a stranger. The morning crowd shuffles in for a blue-collar breakfast and small town banter.
“Carol is getting a brand new double-wide!” says the red-faced woman as she steps through the door. The girl behind the register is already punching numbers; the cook puts on the “regular.” An old man steps in from the cold. Everyone is happy to see him. It takes about 30 seconds to learn that the old widower just finished his last radiation treatment. His breakfast is free, and everyone stops by his table to offer best wishes.
As I finish up a three-egg omelet, the buzz around me centers on stray dogs, ills and aches, kids and grandkids, storm fronts and front porches. Every once in a while someone cuts me a look that says, “You’re not from ‘round here, are ya?,” but I feel quite welcome here.
We’ve given up a lot to live in the metro world. Civility and community are exceptions, not rules. Caring and tenderness died before we drove the last nail into the privacy fence. I’m not sure how to fix what’s broken in the metro world, but love and laughter seem to go a long, long way at the Orange Blossom Café.
Reposted with permission from onehope.net.