How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
My trip to Texas and then home again, meant I would arrive home on a Tuesday then Fly from Chicago to Kansas City on Wednesday. I did some googling and found that if going home by way of Kansas City (from TX) we would only add an extra 2 hours to the trip for Bryan to drive home. With that information, I approached Heartfelt about allowing me the opportunity to be dropped off on Tuesday morning in Kansas City, to have almost two days as down time. They agreed.
I actually know quite a bit about Kansas City as Archie and I spent a lot of time there when we took our Route 66 25th anniversary trip. We went on a bbq tour, walked the city, took a detailed bus tour (you do NOT want to know the history behind all of the cement in the city), and took in the bullet holes on the exterior wall of the Union Station from the shoot out between federal officers and “Jelly” Nash’s boys.
We also took what was supposed to be a two day kayak trip but due to a guide with a broken arm, one day adventure. We kayaked on an unspecified river where a bald eagle soared over head, experienced mild white water (Archie DID NOT enjoy that part), awed at water that was crystal clear so we paused to watch the fish swim beneath us, and paddled between soaring rocky cliffs.
That day I will never forget.
Before we left the saucy city we stopped again at our favorite coffee spot, the Roasterie, with an actual plane mounted atop the building as if in the midst of take off. Archie purchased coffee bbq rub to take home. Ahhhh…good memories.
Bryan dropped me off at the hotel at 6:30 am, looong before any rooms would be available, as they had been sold out for the night. They offered me free coffee (yessssss) and I hung out in the lobby flipping through pamphlets. About an hour and a half into the wait, the words”Free Metro” caught my eye. The last time Archie and I had been down town the roads were torn up in all directions and traffic was being diverted into every side road possible. The result of the chaotic mess could now be enjoyed as a leisurely ride from just past the Farmer’s Market to Union Station(both of which I really wanted to visit) from the comfort and convenience of a clean/new public transportation system. I asked the front desk where the closest pick up spot was for the Metro. Farmer’s Market was the answer. Crap. That was a good 10-15 minute drive. Options, options, options…Uber??? Uber it is.
Uber was interesting as I was picked up by a former marine, 3rd or 4th generation military (he said “yes” when I asked if PTSD ran rampant in his family). He was in law school, had been married then divorced after 16 years, had a nine year old daughter and wanted to travel the world. Have I mentioned it was once said of me that I have yet to meet a stranger?
I Ubered to the Farmer’s Market, but it was early and few shops were open. Since I had the work computer with me, I was carrying a very heavy back-pack and a group of homeless who were sleeping at the Farmer’s Market were looking me up and down. I quickly went through a building to the Metro pickup area. I was surprised to be joining individuals of business, in dress pants, ties, and women in smart A line skirts. I felt safe and comfortable. The Metro arrived within minutes.
I decided time was the one element I had going for me. I road for two loops, about an hour, in order to get my barrings as to where I was and what I really wanted to see. I decided to ride to the end of the line, hopping off at Union Station. One of my favorites: the feeling of familiarity. I smiled, sought out and found the bullet holes then headed in for a fresh, hot cup of coffee. I sat for about three hours, working on work emails, chatting with Taylor over her lunch break, and people watching. I then repacked my bag and explored the lower level then the level beneath which housed a museum. I learned of early funerals and mourning attire dating back to the 1800s, which could be viewed as weird, but since I love history, it was all exciting. My eyes took in every piece of soaring arches, marble architecture, carved wood, stained darkly and aged from approximately a century of wear, and anywhere else that had not been open the last time I/we were there. When I had seen everything I wanted to or could see, I decided to head back to the Farmer’s Market to Uber back so I could check in at 2:00. Back to the Metro.
I entered the Metro and took an isle seat. At the first stop the woman next to the window stood to leave. I peered out the door at her stop and just after she exited a sign caught my eye,”Roasterie Now Open!” Without even thinking, I sprung to my feet and dashed out the door. Knowing the Roasterie was a good half hour from my current location, I knew this must be a second site and I HAD to experience it.
The sign was attached to a chain link fence that was surrounding what used to be a downtown building–high rise, maybe? Now the fenced encompassed an empty, desolate lot. It was an industrial/older area. and I could see a former aged brick manufacturing facility peering down from the other side of the fenced space. I meandered past the boundary and the dark brick 1900s building welcomed me to enter the new Roasterie. When I pulled open the heavy glass door the aroma was amazing. At the back of the building, high on the wall, was the picture of the plane in flight. The original facility is where they Roast their beans and have a cafe. This was just a delightful coffee/souvenir shop with bits and pieces of their inventory from home base. It was a small store so it did not take long to browse the shelves and then I saw it! Archie’s Roasterie Coffee BBQ rub! What?!?! We loved it and he had used it up shortly after our 25th trip. Right beside it was Coffee-que BBQ sauce, wha-hoo! They did not have that before! It’s the little things that thrill me, can you tell? Now the problem: I am flying home. BBQ sauce in luggage mixed with my clothing is not a happy thought. I went up to the counter and asked if they shipped. Since I rarely buy anything, I was actually shocking myself that I wanted to do this. “Yes!” They said,”We won’t charge you shipping, just come over to the counter and we’ll ring you up.” I grabbed the sauce and a single pack of coffee to brew in my hotel and walked up to the counter. “Oh! Did you want that to ship with the sauce?” “You mean I can have more than just the sauce shipped?!!?” I went around the corner and grabbed the rub as well. I purchased the three items, a cup of coffee(of course), they took my name and address on a blank piece of paper and I was off–sort of. The new door got stuck! Personally, I think they just wanted me to hang out for a while, but it took a fellow customer and one of the sweet baristas to unstick the door, after my handful of metro info went flying when the door refused to open. Eventually, and after quite a few giggles with my helpmates, I finally exited the building. I was off, smiling ear to ear, to the Farmer’s Market. Off to Uber with a gentleman that spoke on his phone in a different language my entire ride (scary!!!), back to the hotel for the continuation of the week of work. But, the story does not end there.
A week or so later, I arrived home to a medium size box with a familiar plane printed on the side. It was larger than what I expected for BBQ sauce and rub, but hey, if they want to extra pack it so it does not get broken, I will be grateful! I grabbed the box, but had to scoot off for more work. There the box sat for a couple of days (I’ve been on the road quite a bit). One evening when I was home by myself, I finally had time to open the box. Right on top there was a lovely handwritten note. They had found the Metro post card I had dropped when I wrestled with the door and put in a couple of extra goodies. I was shocked–beyond shocked!
Inside the box was my rub, BBQ sauce, single serving coffee bag BUT ALSO a full pound of their glorious company blend coffee and a retro cup touting their name! I about cried!
So what does the verse have to do with a friendly, amazing, coffee shop in Kansas City? “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tiding”.
I did nothing for this coffee shop but they shipped my precious desired items to my home, not only waiving shipping charges but showering me with unearned kindness, hospitality, and comfort. I think their actions: brought good news, proclaimed peace in a busy urban area, and good tidings, not to mention showed the love of my heavenly Dad with skin on.
Now I reflect: How often do I go above and beyond for others? If I see someone run into a stubborn, unruly door am I quick to laugh or lend a hand? Once I have an interaction with someone, do I move on quickly to my next task or do I allow their memory to linger and move me to do for others before they can do for me?
The Roasterie: if you are ever in Kansas City, I highly recommend the little shop with a heart bigger than their building.
Until next time: Blessings!