Sitting, enjoying a beverage at one of our fav places… just getting into the patio season mood… our same waitress – over the years – attending to our needs… what could be better?
We ask about summertime hours and she uses the word “I’m” when explaining her plans to do this, that and the other… as in, I’m the new owner. Whoa! What?
As the evening goes on, intermittently between serving other customers, she tells us about her plans for her new place… Cleopatra’s dream.
“Somewhere over the rainbow way up high
blue birds fly…
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops
That’s where you’ll find me”
~ Over the Rainbow by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole
Is there a difference between Sunday morning and Monday morning? There isn’t for Cleopatra. A woman of faith, she believes she wouldn’t be in this position if it simply meant lining her own pockets. This is about her family, her staff and her customers – to whom she feels a responsibility to do her best. It’s not something she has to show off – like waving a flag. Her faith is private; but, it’s in her genuine smile, the happiness in her eyes, the pride she feels for her kids – all who are involved in some way with the bistro – plus a supportive husband. The entire staff believe in her dream: all deciding to stay by her side including the ownership transition.
The uplift you get walking into this place is like being swept over by a tsunami of love. Lord help anyone who gets in the way of her life’s mission. Her excitement is contagious because it’s real.
“And, it don’t take money, don’t take fame/
Don’t take no credit card to ride this train”
~ The Power of Love by Huey Lewis and the News
She says without support from loyal residents and visitors, community businesses like hers couldn’t survive. Cleopatra has always believed in giving back and she and her family plan to continue her investment in local causes – like her yearly Dragon Boat racing team participation for cancer survivors and support for her son, Jordan’s, underfunded university baseball team. It seems to be why people live here – the underlining culture you can clearly see.
Images of people here say it all: the walking of pets – with water bowls set out like sparkling diamonds in the sun, the smiling faces over cups of coffee, the joggers and bicyclists breezing on through, moms and dads walking strollers… a positive vibe … a more peaceful, inclusive, welcoming world.
“The colours of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you”
~ What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong
Cleopatra feels grateful for the opportunity. Her dreams are coming true: from waitress to owner. Hard work? Not when you’re doing something you love. Likewise, may all our dreams come true… beginning today!
Guest Author Bio
Fred Parry lives in Southern Ontario. He is a lover of people and a collector of stories, music, wisdom, and grandchildren. His newspaper column, Music in Me, can be found in ‘The New Hamburg Independent’ Metroland Media. His book, ‘The Music In Me’ (2013) Friesen Press is Available from Amazon and Indigo / Chapters.
Blog / Website: www.fredparry.ca
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