The jamboree of pinwheels in the front yard was the first indication that this was just the type of place I’d like to visit. The second persuading factor was the store’s sign. From afar, I could only distinguish two words. Bake and Shop. I do love clarity.
From a bit closer, it read, “Terry’s Country Bake Shop.” Still, a solid name. In fact, the extrapolation of “bake shop,” only gave further clarification. This was not simply a bake shop. It was a country bake shop. And it was Terry’s country bake shop. And there was a flock of fluttering pinwheels in the yard. What else did I really need to know?
The inside décor lived up to all expectations. Knick-knacks lined the counters, while several miniature rubber-duckies stared from atop display cases, like a beautiful homage to garage sale lovers everywhere.
The donuts’ cinnamon and sugar glistened and I knew that this was the must-have item. There was no one to be found behind the counter. An old man, who’d been sipping coffee outside tottered jovially through the door. “Did she see ya?” He winked and disappeared into the kitchen. I stood for another minute alone in the store, taking it all in.
An elderly woman came out wiping her hands. “Hi.” A moment went by as she stared blankly at me. “What would you like?” Clearly, I had inconvenienced her and the lack of flow to the ordering process made me feel more awkward than usual. I wondered whose choice the rubber-duckies had been in the decorating process. His or hers?
I ordered the donuts. She packed them with business-like intent. I imagined her frying the donuts with the same focused expression and knew that they were going to be good. She handed over the box with a half-smile, said a quick “thanks,” and then promptly disappeared back into the kitchen. I think she liked me. The old man came back out, reminding me of a sort of Santa Claus’s country cousin, and wished me a wonderful day.
On the way home, I slipped my hand into the box sitting on the passenger seat. The donuts were the dense kind with plenty of substance and the combination of cinnamon and sugar and grease required that you lick your fingers after each bite. I drove back to campus, listening to music, nibbling on donuts, and feeling like summer had finally arrived…