Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I started working on my Pioneer Woman post last night--but found my thoughts instead consumed with an interview I did yesterday with Sandy and Steve Baskerville in Spirit Lake, Iowa. I met them at Spenser's Underground, a coffeeshop they opened and have operated for the past 2 1/2 years in honor and memory of their son Spenser.

The full story will appear in the April issue of Womeninc magazine but I cannot stop thinking about them. Even three years after the tragic loss of their son in a car accident, the grief is palpable--in their voices, their gestures and most of all in their eyes. The amazing part is how quickly the sadness is replaced by joy, hope and a sense of purpose as they share the story of how Spenser's Underground came to be.

Their initial plan was to create a coffeehouse that would be a place for high school students to hang out, listen to music, play games etc. They soon found that many high schoolers are busy with jobs and sports. Instead it is the middle school aged kids who fill the large funky room every day.

Sandy has developed a large assortment of coffees, snacks, smoothies and sweet treats that she serves up with a healthy helping of patience and a substantial side of her nurturing nature. She made me a fabulous spicy Thai chicken wrap for lunch.

So today as I prepare to start my day, knowing that I haven't even started thawing the turkey, I am first counting my blessings. First on the list is gratitude to God for his free gift of salvation through Jesus. Then for my family who I love and appreciate more every day. And, among my many other blessings, are the opportunities I've had over the past years to meet some of the most inspirational people I could possibly imagine and to have been given the privilege of sharing their stories.

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