Jacob and I have been enjoying a morning coffee break at Tim Horton’s almost every morning since last fall when school started up. Over these past months we have begun to recognize, and be recognized by, the other regulars who show up every morning.
After so many years of feeling almost invisible or only being known as those Canadians in our travels, I can’t even begin to describe how refreshing it is to now have this deep understanding that we are home.
Moving back here and making Cochrane our hometown again has been an interesting experience. I know Old Cochrane, I was raised as part of that community, my family has called the town home for generations. It’s always been a place I can come to and see neighbours, old friends, family, and other members of the community.
In the 10 years that we were gone, Cochrane boomed in size. The town has grown, there are so many new people, and an abundance of stores have opened their doors here. It has been an interesting experience this past year – showing the kids the Old Cochrane that I know and love so much, and exploring together the New Cochrane that exists now, one that I also hold a lot of fondness for.
Even now when we come into town we always see at least one person we know. The town has maintained a lot of it’s old, small town feel, and we have such a large web of community here. There is always that comfort of being home and in a familiar place. Yet, there is so many new things to explore – new restaurants to try, stores to visit, and people to meet.
The people here are still refreshingly friendly, there are smiles and casual greetings often exchanged on the street. People hold the doors open for each other.
It is home.
We have become regulars. The people at Tim’s know Jacob’s coffee order every morning. The other regulars all know where “our table” is, and we all comment if someone has switched up the seating arrangement. I love watching the groups of people who meet there every morning. There are groups of friends – most of them older – sitting, sharing coffee, laughing, and enjoying a beautiful start to the day. We are now a part of that community.
My happiness moment was sitting at Tim Horton’s realizing that we had this deep sense of belonging in this place we call home. Then I eavesdropped on this table of older men (perhaps late 70s or early 80s) and found they were laughing and sharing stories of running around their yards. I have no idea what the context was – but watching them doubled over at the table in laughter while they told their tales made my whole day.