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Sabbatical Chronicles Day 2

One of the things I miss in today’s app focused, small format, Tik Tok world, is commercial jingles. Whether it was AT&T reminding us to reach out and touch someone, Mean Joe Green taking the shirt off his back to hand to a kid wile they had a Coke and a smile or Alka Seltzer settling your stomach with a pop pop and a fizz fizz; commercials and commercial jingles were always memorable. Now that I am older, one of the jingles I really miss is Folgers coffee. “The great part of waking up, is Folgers in your cup.” Now my parents weren’t big coffee drinkers but when they did let me taste it was always with milk and sugar. Back then I didn’t know there was a difference between instant and brewed coffee. I certainly didn’t know anything about espresso, French Presses, and pour overs. I love coffee. I drink many cups each day not for the caffeine stimulation (I will occasionally drink a cup before bed and have no issues falling asleep) but because I truly love the taste. I admit I am a coffee snob. I drink black coffee with only the occasional splash of cream or almond milk. No sugar or sugar substitute required. I prefer whole bean coffee that I grind on demand with my trusty hand grinder. Now that I got that out of the way, on to day 2 of the Sabbatical Chronicles.

My first stop today was at a new local spot in Fruit Cove, Noah’s Agape Cafe. This new cafe has a welcoming layout with seating that is perfect for small group meetings like books clubs and bible studies There is countertop, table top, and lounge seating across two rooms inside and a spacious patio with seating in the back. According to their website Noah’s Agape cafe partners with the Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville, Best Buddies Association of North Florida and Noah’s School, North Florida School of Special Education (NFSSE). They serve as an additional training facility and employment for graduates. And for you dog lovers out there they also sell Barkin Biscuits dog treats made by the NFSSE students. I had a delicious cup of coffee courtesy of the oldest independent coffee roaster in North Florida, Martin Coffee Company. I would have taken a picture of the warm Blueberry French Toast Bake but I gobbled it up in four bites. Noah’s Agape Cafe definitely has a warm, community feel.

Next stop: Ace Hardware to look for some shrubbery. My wife and I are looking for non-flowering shrubs for pots in the front of the house sitting on pavers. Ace has way too many options. I took a bunch of pictures and will review with the boss on a date to be named later. Ditto for pictures I took later in the day at the Home Depot. So instead, I will jump ahead a few hours later to the highlight of my day.

This year, the vision put forth by the senior pastor at Hopewell Church (my house of worship), Rev. Dr. Gary L. Williams Sr., is Engage 242. This is based on the bible verse Acts 2:42. In essence, we were challenged to engage with the community both within and outside the church. This includes on campus events open to member and non members; along with community outreach. Today I joined members of the Hopewell family as we volunteered in support of the children that participate in the Soaring High program at Valley Ridge Academy. For 2 hours this afternoon I assisted with homework, danced, and ran around the gym playing with children ranging from K-8. I have to tell you, there is nothing more heartwarming than kids running, laughing, and playing with reckless abandon, able to forget about the worries of the world for a short time. The staff and youth volunteers from local high schools were amazing. I cannot wait to participate again in the near future.

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