Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Rose and Ray

Rose and Ray

mug coffee black
Rose: rice krispie
Ray: choc chip cookie…sometimes two.

The other day Rose came into the café and I gave her a coffee on the house. She was reluctant, said I was horrible and shook her fist at me….. I’m ok with that ;) Rose has been stopping by the café almost everyday since about May of 2008, usually accompanied by her husband Ray if he isn’t out volunteering or lunching with old work buddies. They found us while out for their daily afternoon walk and we can’t seem to get rid of them no matter how many free coffees they get. They moved in from Sardis where they had been for the past 3 years into Kits where it would be easier to get around by foot. They aren’t strangers to the area though as they spent thirteen years living in False Creek, and Ray was born in Chilliwack. They had spent a short stint up in Prince George after Ray had been moved over there and it was apparently the coldest winter on record that year so they didn’t stay long. Rose was recalling that in one attempt to keep warm they had stapled a sleeping bag to the door...with Ray inside, quite the insulator that Ray. Okay he wasn't in the sleeping bag, but I wouldn't put it past him.

Rose hails originally from Pembroke, Ontario and was in a nursing program in Montreal when she first met Ray. Ray was working as a chartered accountant at the time and had hopped on a train heading to Pembroke to do an audit on the Eddy match company (which incidentally was where Rose’s father worked). Rose was just heading home for a visit. They struck up a conversation and in Rose’s words “we met on a train in Montreal and that was that.” Her first thought was “oh great, a solution to my income tax!” It was the first year Rose had to work on her tax so it was pretty much destiny.

It’s interesting seeing customers day in and out and only knowing that one side of them forgetting that they, as we the employees, have lives outside of the shop……okokok I don’t have a life outside the shop it’s just safe in between those four walls, warm and coffee, I mean cozy. Tangent. So it was nice when I sat down with Rose and Ray to also be accompanied by their youngest daughter Maria. They also have a son (Ian who is in Langley) who is part time into income tax…similar to that crazy guy Ray. Their other daughter Sarah, lives in Castlegar with her partner and two kids. Noah, who is seven is reportedly quite the artist and they are all very proud of his work. Ray had also worked with Sarah doing some upholstering work in Chilliwack and she now has her own business in Castlegar. Their daughter Maria was visiting from Cortes Island where she is currently living/working on a farm with her partner. Oddly enough Maria was in the town of Nelson doing a woodworking course the same year I was there attending the Selkirk College music program. “It’s a small world after all, it’s a small world after all….” learned that one in school, only took two years.
Throughout the conversation it is neat to see more of Ray’s humorous character shine through and how him and Rose have a comfortable understanding of each other. When asked about why they keep returning to the café, their response is “the coffee and the service”. The latter is slightly surprising, haha good service….here…from this staff…really? They tend to keep to themselves reading the papers and taking in the midday but are not opposed to visiting with strangers. Ray once had a conversation with a man from Oak Bay, where he lived for a time. They were able to talk about some of the familiar places including the Thursday night hang out “Snug Pub”. Generally though it’s been a place where they can continue their tradition of afternoon coffee that they started about three years ago. They are familiar with a few of our staff and think that Ryan needs to be a bit more attentive (wink).

Their daily visits are ones that we can look forward too when working a long afternoon and Rose's laugh is one that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face. That’s Rose and Ray.

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