What makes this place feel like home?

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“Wait for me in front of the shop,” says the Significant Other before pulling out into the busy street, the smirk on his face a telltale sign that says he knows I won’t comply.

Looking around, I take in the beautiful French windows that seem to be a staple of every facade in the colorful street.

A strange neighborhood.
Strange, as in, I’ve never been here before.

The excitement of exploring every nook and cranny overwhelms me.
My senses are alert.

I can hear people doing their chores.
I can see women walking their dogs.
I can taste fall in the air–a mixture of chestnuts and hickory.
I can touch the crackling leaves that fall from the trees.
And I can smell the aroma that wafts from the little bakery called Kismet.

I feel someone grab me by the elbow. “I thought I told you to wait by the shop.”
“When do I ever do anything you ask?” I reply.
Looking up at the bakery sign, I wordlessly utter my desire to go in and have coffee.

As I sit and sip my wonderful latte, I think of the little bakery where my mom and I spent so much time this summer.

Rey’s Cafe.
A charming space filled with rattan furniture, bright light, and a wonderful array of pastries.

I close my eyes and instantly see it.

Colorful beads hang in the windows, clacking and changing color every time someone opens the door. Wine and liquor bottles fill the shelves. Jars of spices and marmalade sit side by side in an orderly fashion.

This is a place where people gather to have long conversations.
Where people sit and read a newspaper, a cup of coffee their only companion.
Where women share recipes and discuss the latest hat trend.
And where my mother and I sit for hours talking about anything and everything.

Coffee after coffee, time passes, yet we refuse to be clock watchers.
Instead, we sit huddled together, giggling as we recount funny events we’ve seen.

I smile as I remember how my mother and I labeled Rey’s Cafe “our spot.”
Our spot, which also housed “our table” and “our chairs.”

The Significant Other walks toward the cash register to pay for our coffee. Yet I’m reluctant to go. Sitting in this bakery has filled me with nostalgia of time spent in Rey’s Cafe.

I think that perhaps it was the beauty of having coffee together that made us feel this way.
Or perhaps it was that Rey’s Cafe, with all its magic, felt like home.

Do you have a favorite place that feels like home?

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