Happiness Is…

The Wild Oat.

I’ve had a lot of firsts since chemo ended, but the only one to make me cry was my first visit back to The Oat. And I cried just as hard at my second.

The Wild Oat was our family’s cozy oasis — every day — for more than three years.

Its earthy attitude, funky, friendly staff and unbeatable organic coffee, baked goods and meals were well worth the line-up each weekend for breakfast.

Its mellow, homey atmosphere and steaming espresso machine sang backup each weekday morning as Mark and I recorded our daily discussion for Just One More Book.

We knew the staff. We knew the customers. All four of us felt completely at home.

Right up to my diagnosis.

I cry for the pre-c freedom The Oat represents. For our lost podcast. For my lost employment. And for the carefree morning “dates” that Mark and I enjoyed each day before work.

Still, happiness is The Wild Oat.

About Andrea

Andrea Ross was diagnosed with breast cancer October 6, 2009 and intends to survive and thrive. You can read more from Andrea here.

  • Andrea,
    The sanctuary you have in The Wild Oat is a reflection of what you bring to that place. Your open heart and passion for living is as much a factor in its success as a community gathering place as the olfactory, auditory, and gastronomic delight that draws customers there in droves! Imagine the joy of the people who work there when your family comes through that door!

    And how wonderful indeed, that this place of belonging has helped you to acknowledge the losses in your life. To steaming lattes, warm scones, and the blessing of community!

  • Jay

    Once again, a post that brings tears to my eyes. I love how you express yourself on this blog.

  • Jenny, you are too kind. Thank you for this beautiful perspective.
    To steaming lattes, warm scones, and the blessing of community for your family and you!

  • Thank you, Jay. Although I much prefer to trigger your hearty, head-back laugh.

  • missrumphius

    This is one of those posts where I know I just don't have the right words. I know you have lost much, but I can't help but feel that in time, it will come back. Until then, I leave you with words from Spenser's Faerie Queene, Book 5:

    Nor is the earth the lesse or loseth aught,
    For whatsoever from one place doth fall,
    Is with the tide unto another brought…

    For there is nothing lost, but may be found, if sought…

    Love and hugs to you all.

  • Jay

    Hee hee. Don't worry. You do plenty of that too.

  • Thank you so much, Tricia. We hope you're right.

    Love and hugs to you and your little family.

  • Wow Andrea,nthis really hit home. Partly I think because I grew to love your podcasts from that coffeeshop, the sounds and bustle, and yes, that screaming steamer for the foamy milk.., it was all so comforting, like sitting down with friends to talk books. The other part that resonates so strongly for me is the loss of innocence – that you can’t go back to seeing the world the way you had. That’s such a universal experience, that sorrow of new understanding, that retrospective appreciation of what we had and can’t fully return to…nBittersweet memories. And yet, those moments remain part of us. They’ve infused our spirits with joy, and hope, and while we may not be able to go back, there’s new sweetnesses to come – and we know that, because that cafe didn’t create your joy, you and Mark created it… And you can – -and will – – create new joy. Thanks for making me so reflective and for helping me remember that I have the power to create new joy in my life, too.nNamaste,nLeen

  • Lee,

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful and inspiring reflection. You made me cry. I will be remembering these words in particular:

    “that cafe didn't create your joy, you and Mark created it… And you can – -and will – – create new joy.”

    Thank you for being part of our journey, for introducing me (through your gift of the beautiful “Cancer As A Turning Point” CD set) to so many inspirational thinkers and for sharing your wisdom and good wishes.

    Be well and be happy,

  • Looks like my kind of place.

    Glad you could finally get back there and reconnect with . . . happiness and the simple pleasures.

  • Thanks, Tim. Hope to see you at PAB2010!

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