Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Dunkies Run

The little Lady and I take a Dunkies run every morning. Like most addicts, I wake up craving the caffeine bolt my body needs to make it through the day. Just thinking about that medium iced coffee with extra, extra skim milk and two Splendas can brighten any morning.

We live in --lets call it an up and coming neighborhood. It is a very nice little condo complex tucked behind a Spanish market--where they all too often block my driveway and make me crazy--and wedged up against the highway embankment. The Dunkin Donuts is down the block and around the corner. We use to drive there in the winter months last year, but once the weather started getting nicer we started to walk. We make our way out past the stacked boxes of produce along side the market, along side the Volvo dealership and across the street from both a Funeral home and a pet crematorium. We then make the right at the sausage factory and walk the extra thirty five yards to Heaven.

Now, I like a Starbucks frappachino and their Tazo tea is very tasty, what I don't like is their coffee and their attempt to create a faux atmosphere with world music Cd's and lounge chairs. If you want to see the world reflected back at you--stop at my Dunkin Donuts. On the way in you will pass day laborers, what I can only best describe as the Russian mafia hanging out in front, and a parking lot full of trucks belonging to landscapers, tree trimmers, plumbers and construction workers. Once you get inside you find yourself surrounded by the DOT workers from the train maintenance facility across the street. The bus workers from the depot around the corner, professionals from the nicer part of town driving through to downtown, and the very varied mix of Dunkin Donut workers who are at any one time speaking Spanish, Indian, some sort of Eastern European and English.

What I love the most about this place though is that they have my coffee ready when I get to the counter. How awesome is that? I am officially a regular. I have been frequenting that Dunkies since it opened. I remember the day I drove by and realized they were turning the old abandoned repair shop into a Dunkin Donuts. Euphoria! Amazement! Love surged through me-- my coffee addiction would be fed.

I now know the workers by name. Last year I gave Danny the number for an Adult Ed ESL program. Sandra and I talk about our little girls and she just loves the Lady. And the Lady, well she smiles at everyone and waves. She is like the little mayor in there. She also knows that there is the possibility for munchkins. I am not big on giving her sweets, but the workers in there will give me a handful (for free!) for her. I usually give her a couple pieces from one munchkin and then stare longingly at the rest of them on my kitchen table until I gather up enough will power to actually throw them away. The Lady though, has learned.

We began teaching her some sign language around three or four months old. We started really simple with bottle and all done. And although she didn't sign back, she began to understand. Once she started eating real food we taught her the sign for more and please. She soon was able to do all the signs we taught her. When she is hungry or wants something to eat she does the sign for more. Today, as soon as we walked through the door to Dunkies she gave the sign for more. I think we are done with the munchkins. How did she get so smart?

To top it off I put the uneaten munchkin and a half on the table on top of her very cute monkey placemat that she got for her birthday. The next thing I knew she was walking around with an entire munchkin in her mouth after pulling it off the table when I wasn't looking. This is a girl who knows what she wants in life. Little Miss Independence and her munchkin addiction.

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