Wayward Coffeehouse: My Happy Place

I’m writing this on a Wednesday in the Wayward Coffeehouse. Usually by Wednesday I’ll have some sort of idea swirling around in my noggin to write about. When that doesn’t happen I start to get a little worried. I like to have a rough draft finished by Thursday morning so I have time to do a little editing and proofing. When I’ve got no ideas by Thursday I start to panic a little and think too hard thus crushing any great ideas that might have been bubbling under the surface. So today is Wednesday and Jack is at preschool and I wondered what I was going to write about.

I wondered with a bit of shame if I was going to have to write another “excuse post”. If you’re a regular reader of my blogs I’m sure you’ve seen them. I hate those posts. I hate making excuses. I didn’t want to write an excuse post. But I’m not feeling terribly creative. My energies are being diverted (that’ll happen as the holidays get closer I guess). I’m using all my energy to stay focused on the now instead of worrying about the future and the what if’s in life.

I felt the need to get centered. I needed to regroup and find my happy place. So I went to Wayward Coffeehouse. I know what you’re thinking, ‘she went to a coffeehouse to find peace? WTF is wrong with this girl’. When most people think of getting centered or finding their “happy place” they think of some mystical land that exists in their head. They think of meditation and focusing. Well…at the moment I don’t really have a happy place in my head. “Staci Land” (as it was dubbed long ago by my mom) has been in quite the state lately so meditating and trudging through the sludge of my inner self is not exactly relaxing. I don’t know how to turn off my brain. It just goes, it does what it wants…it’s a rebel.

However, I never feel unhappy when I go to the Wayward. I feel like I can focus there. Maybe it has something to do with not being distracted by stupid things like cleaning, laundry, dishes, etc. The fact is, it doesn’t matter what’s going on, the Wayward never fails to cheer me up. I’ll try to tell you why.

Let’s start with a little history. The Wayward Coffeehouse first opened in the neighborhood of Greenwood in 2005. It opened right around the corner from Jordan and my first apartment. We had eagerly awaited it’s opening and I’m pretty sure we were among its first customers.

From day one I loved, LOVED this place. It’s  a nerdy haven of happy stuff. Star Trek, Star Wars and Firefly are a large part of the decor. They’ve got lovely art on the walls, they host game nights. They’ve had nerdy bingo. It’s just a great place to be. Even during the week in the morning/afternoon there’s a wonderful feeling of welcoming. I never feel awkward or judged walking into this place.

This is the place I wrote two of my novels. Every morning before heading to Taproot Theatre’s box office I would order a coffee and work on my novels for two hours. I wrote the first draft of The Protector and Jude and the Zombies there, sipping my Irish Creme Latte. Wayward is the first place that stocked my Wet Rat articles, before I turned them into a blog. Wayward was also the only place that seemed excited about it and would let me know how often they were being picked up and read.

It felt like a second home, which makes sense, we lived right behind it. Eventually we moved to a small house in Northgate and I couldn’t get to the Wayward as often as I would have liked. Then it suffered smoke  and water damage from a fire next door and had to move to the Roosevelt neighborhood. So I get there even less than before. BUT I’m still remembered by the owner. I even ran into her in the ladies room at ECCC one year and we chatted for like five minutes. It was after that encounter that I knew Wayward would always be like a second home to me.

So when I’m feeling overwhelmed, stifled creatively or just a little sad I know I can get a pick me up if I come here. Not just from the coffee but from the people. Even if the person behind the counter is someone I’ve never met they’re always nice, talkative and engaging.

On top of it being my mecca for well being it’s also kid friendly. Kid friendly in that the baristas are kind to the kids, there’s a little table and some toys. Honestly it’s surprising to me how many coffee shops in Seattle turn their noses up at kids. I know Seattle isn’t the most kid friendly city. (I’m inclined to believe it’s more dog friendly honestly.) So due to the air of general snootiness when it comes to kids it’s nice to have a place where I can bring a book and my kid and relax for awhile without having the staff glaring at me while I finish my coffee.

It’s great having a place to go just to get out of your house when you need it, especially as a single mom. I think it’s important for everyone to have a place like this. Is there a place you feel this way? Where is your second home?


2 responses to “Wayward Coffeehouse: My Happy Place

  1. My work is my second home, for sure. But I also love coffeeshops. Seattle has a hug coffeeshop culture, and a lot of it is because Starbucks decided to pursue this “third place” idea – a spot between home and work where you feel at home and can meet with friends.

    Unfortunately, I feel like it comes at a cost – folks are not as hospitable as they were before, they are more likely to hang out in a “safe” third place and meet with a friend at a coffeeshop then to offer their home. Maybe folks are worried about being judged for their home? In any case, I rarely hang out with friends at my home or their home, which is a bummer. I wonder if this is a contributor to the Seattle “freeze”.

    • That’s actually a really interesting point. You do so very rarely hang out at friend’s house any more. I can count on my fingers the number of homes I’ve hung out in recently. I know that when I do go to a friend’s house they apologize for the “mess” even when there’s nothing really messy about it. It’s kind of funny cause as kids all you did was hang out at each others houses (at least I did) so maybe as adults we want to get out of the house. That’s so very true for me as a single mom. When I get the opportunity, I go out. Dinners and game nights hosted at my house are fun and all (and easy as far as not having to find a sitter) but going out has a totally different appeal.

      I guess for me it’s putting a little distance between my responsibilities and just being myself for awhile. Not responsible, super awesome mom Staci, just super awesome Staci. That’s why I need to get out I think, to remember that I’m a lot more than just a super bitchin’ mom. (Bitchin’=Positive)

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