The mornings are getting colder and colder. Snow has fallen and the trees are all naked. The salt is out and the grass is dead. I don’t love winter like some do. I love fall, spring, and sometimes summer. Winter is cold and lonely for the most part.

The only part of winter than I love more than Christmas music (which brings light to the darkness), is the way your breath smokes out when you exhale. I love how alive it makes me feel. I love the way it reminds me that I’m okay and I can keep on trucking.

Winter changes things at the coffee shop. All the drinks change. People change their regular drinks to something warm; something spicy. Pumpkin. Gingerbread. Eggnog. It’s all so festive.

Trenta iced coffee is now Venti bold drip. Grande iced toffee-nut is now Grande hot toffee-nut latte. Hot. It’s that time of year.

There are those that never change. They drink the same thing every day, at the same time.

Like Venti nonfat latte with cinnamon on top. She’s this little old lady that is always wearing glitzy earrings, and has a smile that spreads from ear to ear. Cinnamon on top is in the running for the most positive regulars we have ever had. She comes in three or four times a week and greets me the same way every time.

“How are you today?”

“Well, good morning! I am fantastic. How are you?” She always says with the brightest eyes. The wrinkles collecting around her red lips, and making you feel that warm that friendship brings.

“I am fabulous.” I would reply even if I didn’t feel that way. Cinnamon on top is always making your day just a splash better.

I’ve come to learn that her name is Linda. She is the most darling woman. Her age doesn’t seem to be a factor in her life. She loves working, and Mumford and Sons. She is always telling me about how loud she turned it up in her car on her drive in.

“I think the people next to me could hear it today. I just get so pumped up when he sings Little Lion Man.” She smiles and laughs with me.

I’m sure Linda is tired and lonely sometimes, but you would never know it. She isn’t married, and has no kids. I wonder what that life is like.

I am amazed at the beauty that she sees in the world around her. I admire her so much. People like cinnamon on top remind me that there is so much good in this life. There is so much to see, and to love and to look at. Linda reminds me of what it’s all about.

About a month ago Linda had her hip replaced. I’ve heard that the recovery is pretty quick, and the surgery isn’t that bad. I was amazed to see Linda back at work just three weeks after. She just keeps going. She works, and struggles and makes the best of what she has. She came in on her first day back and she greeted me even happier than usual.

Proof that life is good. Life is always good. Proof that life isn’t what you’ve got. Life is what you do with what you have.

Life is far too short to waste it being unhappy.

Like Linda, I am fantastic. I am fantastic on the rainiest days. I am fantastic on the hardest nights. I am fantastic regardless of my circumstances.

Now the question is: Are you fantastic?


About Kelly R. Storts

Opinions, ideas, and thoughts make up who most of my identity. These things are fluid. I am constantly changing and growing, and learning who I am. Through writing down experiences with dating, loving, crying, breaking I just might become a better person. I remember listening to stories of love, life, and all the bubbles when I was younger. Those stories made me eager to have stories to tell myself. Hopefully writing the little that I know down I can help someone else find their fluid identity.
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