I got a pacakage from my mom after she died.
It was a project she had commissioned that was delayed in the making and never got to me when it should have – while she could have known about it.
Months after her funeral, I received a curious cardboard box – oblong in shape. My dad brought it when he came over one day, telling me that someone had dropped it off at the house. He had no idea what it was.
I opened the box on the front porch – right where the sign would eventually go.
Bending back the layers of cardboard and peeling away the bubble wrap – we peeked in.
Gold Street Cafe.
It was a sign for our front porch, from Mom.
Sometime during the years of birthday, holiday, and sacramental celebrations, family and neighborly gatherings and numberless coffee chats, the forward extension of our home and familial life became The Gold Street Cafe. It’s just our front porch, but that’s what we call it. We are of two houses on the street with one and somehow it seemed fitting to name it – so it’s been that way ever since.
This past weekend, I swept off little red maple buds, wiped down the two tables and assorted chairs, re-stacked the remnant firewood in the corner, and dusted off the sign – leaning it against the front window where it’s been for the better part of seven years now.
That happy ritual is a soft opening of sorts.
From the earliest hint of warm in the spring until the frosty breath of late fall you’ll find us out there – her quiet nod making it official year after year, in print on that old sign.
It’s not a real cafe, but it’s our best place. It’s our waiting-for-someone-to-come-home place and our waving-until-the-tail-lights-are-gone place.
It’s our foyer to the world and our vestibule to home.
It’s our Gold Street Cafe.