This is Sam in front of New Yokel, the local health food store and restaurant in Hattiesburg. Oh, how I love this place. Sam and I have gone there for breakfast almost every Saturday for the last year: scrambled tofu or eggs with veggies, banana pancakes, amazing whole wheat biscuits, fruit smoothies, tempeh, quinoa, red bananas and apples, walnuts, iced herbal tea, etc. They fill our plates and hearts with happiness. I always walk away stuffed, but stuffed in that healthy way, the way eating my mom's cooking makes me feel.
The walls are exposed ruddy bricks and decorated with old doors and windows; there's a smiling happy baby who drools on your arm when you hand over cash for your meal; you can buy organic deodorant and toilet paper and tampons, and interesting music plays over the speakers. It's a magical land.
I confess, I doubt I'll miss Hattiesburg much when I move away in two weeks. I went to my last Sunday of church today, and, after three years of attending this ward, I sat alone for the umpteenth time. When I said goodbye, it was (with few exceptions) not really a sad thing. Have a nice life, I thought.
But I will miss The New Yokel. I'll miss the drooling baby and the banana pancakes, and sitting across from Sam when we were both still sort of sleepy, talking about writing. I remember laughing a lot at those tables. Laughing, taking a bite of whole wheat biscuit, laughing some more.