“Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you only have today.” – unknown
We just wanted a cup of coffee to go, in a Styrofoam cup – that’s all. We were headed home along a scenic but remote stretch of highway after spending several delightful days in Colorado when we entered the small village of Westcliffe (you can look it up on the map). It would be our last opportunity to purchase almost anything for about sixty miles of winding roads. But all we really wanted was a cup of coffee. Instead, we were about to be treated to the best cup of freshly ground and brewed coffee you could ever imagine, served in real cups and saucers, plus a delicious breakfast made from scratch especially for us, and above all an unforgettable encounter with an incredible lady.
It looked like a good place to grab some coffee on the run, a tiny café on a corner called the Stage Stop that advertised smoothies and gourmet coffee. Perfect we thought; we’ll just run in real quick – that is, until we met Shelley Shelley, the lovely, bubbly proprietor who greeted us the second we stepped inside. Shelley Shelley was her real name, by the way, first and last. She was an attractive middle-aged single mom who – as we learned from our conversation – had moved to Westcliffe, Colorado from San Diego, California to raise her son in what she described as “a Norman Rockwell setting where he could grow up in the same house with the same friends, and learn the right kinds of values.”
A feisty gal with big dreams, nothing holds Shelley back. She once dreamed of showing her son around America, so what did she do? She learned to drive a “big-rig” and for a year worked as a long-haul truck driver so her son could see America, home-schooling him along the way. Nowadays to support their “Norman Rockwell” lifestyle she makes smoothies, brews up special gourmet coffee, and cooks up delicious meals from scratch for local citizens and strangers like us. But above all she’s an inspiration to each and every person who walks through the door of her tiny café.
Some people go through life as victims. Others see it as opportunity – people like Shelley Shelley, “dreaming as if she’ll live forever, but living as if she only has today.” We walked in just to get a cup of coffee. We left inspired; ‘cause that’s what she does.