I pull up to the Starbucks drive-thru near my house, I’m tired, I’m hungry and I don’t know what I want. “Good morning lovely! What can I get started for you?” The cheerful voice on the speaker greets me as I stumble over words trying to figure out what I want. She gently guides me through savory breakfast options and I settle on the egg bites and a whole milk latte. As I pull up to gather my goodies I see the face behind the voice. She’s radiant, she’s glowing and her name is Lynne.
Lynne is the barista that has brought me back to Starbucks. Once an avid hater of all things Starbucks, I now have no shame in my game when I have a cup of good ‘ol Starbs. What Lynne may lack in height, she makes up for with her great, big smile and bigger than life personality. She was the inspiration behind this idea of highlighting one person each month in our community who makes the area in which we live in, a better place.
Lynne was kind enough to let me interview her for the blog and I hope I can do her justice through this post, and if not, grab a cup of coffee near me. As soon as you hear “Hello Lovely!” you’ll know that you’re in the right place.
V: I’m so glad that you are letting me interview you for the blog! Part of what drew me to you is how you call everyone “Lovely” and maintain such a positive attitude. Have you always been this way or was there a defining time in your life that led to the Lynne that we see today?
L: I knew at an early age that I had a light spirit that worked well with other people. I believe there have been things that, of course, have led me to be the way that I am now and that I’ve evolved into. I believe that God has put me here to make people feel better, even if it’s only for just a second of their day. So to know that, is wonderful and to feel God’s hand on my shoulder at all times with what I do, it’s given me a solid set so that I can talk to anyone and in any situation. I’ve been in many situations from simple to life-threatening where I had to make choices that would challenge most people. But because I was placed in those positions and had to make those choices, that helped evolve me into the person that I am today.
V: I remember you mentioned having kids. What kind of parent would you describe yourself as and do you have any advice for those of us that still have growing children under our roofs?
L: I have one daughter whom I love very much and two beautiful granddaughters. I, honestly, did not plan on being a parent. It wasn’t in my forte, it was not on my list of things that I was going to do. I have done my best to support my daughter and love her and do the best I can, but there were a couple of years there where I was not the best parent that I could be. I involved myself with work too much or perhaps a different relationship, but my daughter and I have resolved that. We are very loving and very supportive of each other. What I appreciate about you, Val, is the word honesty. So I try to be fully honest with her, always have been and wanted her, from the time she was an infant, to know that I loved her, but at the same time, I was afraid to let her know that the world revolved around her. Because if I died, and knowing that people my age could die (I was an EMT for many years) I sort of stepped back. That would be what I would say to parents now; let your children make mistakes, don’t let them make suicidal or fatal mistakes, but let them do what they have to do to learn to be strong people. It’s not easy to watch someone hurt or to watch them stumble and fall, and we can catch them and kiss their bruises after, but sometimes we have to learn that the upraised part on the sidewalk is something that we’re going to trip over if we don’t step around it.
V: What’s the strangest coffee order that you have ever taken as a barista?
L: Oh boy.. let’s see. Oh, yeah! I did have a lady say that she wanted something that she “could hold like a baby and burp” so I said “Well I’ve got a five-pound bag of coffee beans that you could hold like a baby and burp” and she bought them. She actually did! And I brought it out like this, burping it (over her shoulder) *laughs* that was a good one.
V: Do you have any sort of belief system that you adhere to? If so, what is the most profound effect that it has on your day-to-day life?
L: That God is with me at all that times, that God is with everyone at all times. I’ve tapped into that and God has tapped into me to be his conduit. I believe that we are all here to save the world and to come together in that way. Forget religion, I don’t mean God, I mean religion. Remember that we are all each others’ neighbor, brother and sister and in the endeavor to save the planet, God will bring us together and we can forget all of our other differences. That’s my belief in God. My belief is that God is all-good and loving. Fear of God does not need to happen. God loves us, no matter what religion you are, God is with us at all times, WE are God, that’s what I believe.
V: Do you have a favorite song or artist?
L: I have lots, music is huge in my life. Depending on maybe my mood or the time of year, but I love classical music, I love Judy Garland, I love BB King- the blues. Then I love traditional choir music, so I can’t say that I have a favorite song though there are many songs that I would say are my favorites.
V: Do you have any pet peeves?
L: I do. Immature, selfish people that have decided to not open up their minds, though I try to send them love anyways, but some of them… become my pet peeves. I have to let them go, you can only change what you can change and you can only offer what you can offer, but when they try to influence others with their own selfish, immature attitude, that’s what a lot of the issue is with.
V: Are they any pastimes that you miss that have been pushed out with the advancement of technology?
L: You know, I think letter writing and personal correspondence, and I’m not good at it, but it was always nice to get something from so and so. Maybe that and the personal connection that we’ve lost with each other. I look at people at a restaurant, and nobody is talking, maybe the waiter is standing there waiting and they’re all in their selfish, personal worlds again and I think that is something that we’ve lost. I hate to say it, but I feel that with the technology, we’ve lost our sense of humanity and a sense of reality when it comes to our connection with other people. I’ve never been on social media, I’ve never looked at Facebook, I’ve never looked at any of it. I was involved in the Episcopal church. I grew up an Episcopalian, left the church, went back on my road of finding God and as I got into that, all of the sudden they were asking more than I could give. Emails and stuff and I’m doing two jobs, I didn’t have the time or the energy and I had the responsibilities there that I had and followed through with, but some people thought that I should be doing it one way and so I finally said, “Ok, well you do it your way, I’ll do it my way and I’m walking out.” So, I will not go back to organized religion. When I left there, I realized that not only was I paying $60 a month to be on the internet, but once I left that [the church] I was only on it twice a month. The people that I care about, I see, I talk to and I’m involved with. So I took my little internet box back to Comcast, said “disconnect it” and that was that.
V: It’s the Holiday season and I’d love to know, what is your favorite and least favorite part about this time of year?
L: I love the Holiday season. I used to say there’s two times of the year; Christmas and the time you get ready for it. But I like to take my time during the Holidays and enjoy all of the music, the food, all of these different things, but I feel… I don’t like to use the word “commercial,” but people have lost the true meaning of Christmas. It’s more about what they can get, how many sparkles they can see, you know– things are so competitive too. Like, you’re even competing about the lights. Why can’t we just enjoy the moment that we’re in and the simple lights around us or whatever instead of making everything so competitive? “My cookies are better than your cookies” how about instead we go “Oh, I like the way you make yours, here try mine also!”
V: Must watch Christmas movie?
L: “It’s a Wonderful Life.” That’s my favorite. I didn’t see it until I was 19, it was the first Christmas eve I was working ambulance, and I had noticed that my favorite movie at the time was on and it was late and my partner said “Oh ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ is on!” and I had never seen it. You know, no VCR’s at that time, only 5 channels on the TV and I had never seen it and I thought ‘okay’ so we watched it and I loved that movie. It’s my favorite movie.
V: Can you offer a favorite quote or words to live by?
L: Well my favorite one is “Love God, love your neighbor, you’ll change the world.” And! Remember that to love yourself, IS loving God. I got that quote off of a button and to me it’s life-changing because when you think of the fact that we’re all neighbors, brothers or sisters, even a stranger on the street, we’re all neighbors–that’s what we’re supposed to remember. That we are responsible for each other.
That’s all for now,