Well, you did it again. You got me out of my funk and reminded me of how lucky I am to have this show to come to every month. From the tellers who share their lives, to the people who show up and offer to help with the audio (Matt), to my friend Kris who helps in too many ways to list, to the Starbucks staff and management who make me feel so welcome, thank you for making this a place for people to connect and feel a part of something. I wish everyone had a Fresh Ground Stories to remind them that the world is often kinder and more generous than we think it is.

We began the evening with the perfect opening story. After a year of my nudging (or possibly nagging), Kent finally returned and told the best almost-killed-by-the-Yugoslavian-militia story we’ve ever heard. I’m glad those guys don’t have itchy trigger fingers and that Kent was able to come back from Prague with a great story.

I was super happy to see two first-timers get up and do such a great job. Sue showed us how the stress of planning your wedding can put you in the hospital just days before that very wedding. If I ever get married, I’m going to take her advice and let Cupcake Royale decide the flavors of my mini wedding cupcakes so I can stay home and get some rest. Our other first-timer David W went up a few minutes later and showed us why you should never take marriage advice from an Uber driver. This night was so informative!

Sara told us how easy it is for a herd of buffalo to sneak up on you, and Bruce laid a story on us that made me wonder what UFO’s are doing in New Jersey. Don’t they usually show up in a potter’s field in Kansas somewhere? Bruce is pitching that story to Risk! next week and I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll hear it on the podcast. 

Thanks to Colleen, we now know what it’s like to wake up from a car crash to see a priest administering your last rites. It was hysterical for us, but I’m pretty sure that priest is still in therapy 🙂

Carl told us how frustrating it can be when you’re trying to help someone escape from a bully when you can’t let anyone you’re trying to help them escape. And David T shared what it feels like when your kidney explodes. (Please let me never get anything that puts me in the hospital for 131 days) And Stephanie showed us what can happen when you put too much faith in Yelp reviews. On a serious note, I’m grateful to the woman who reached out to her after reading her review on couchsurfing.com. She let Stephanie know she wasn’t crazy and that she didn’t misread the situation. There are some bad people out there and we need to support the ones who have the courage to stand up and say something. Thank you anonymous woman on the internet.

One of our new regulars, Melissa, closed the show with a beautiful story of how she’s helping her daughter get through OCD therapy. It was funny and touching and in the end, full of hope. Thank you Melissa, for sharing you and your daughter’s journey. I know there were people in the audience that night who needed to hear it. 

The storyteller who surprised me the most that night was from my son, Taran. He told the story of what it was like to be eight years old and watch your parents fight for custody. It was hard for him to tell and harder for me to listen. Even though it happened 20 years ago, his story brought back all those old emotions. It was a terrible time in everyone’s life. I’ve never asked him what it was like for him to go through that because I didn’t think I could handle the answer. Now that he’s told the story, there’s no need for me to wonder anymore. All I can do now is be grateful that he still loves his parents and that storytelling is helping him explore those memories. 

Our theme for September is, “From Out of Nowhere – Stories of unexpected help.” It’ll be on Sept 19. I’ll get out the official invite as soon as I can. Look for it in your inbox next week. 

In the meantime, be sure to check out Auntmama’s Storytable, the other amazing storytelling show at the Olive Way Starbucks, on August 29. Auntmama’s show has storytelling, live music, poetry, fiction stories, and all sorts of wonderful stuff. This month’s featured performer is the poet, Marshay Mitchell. I saw Marshay perform a few months ago at another show and she was fantastic. 

That’s all for now. Thanks again to all the tellers who walked up to the microphone and everyone in the audience who supported them.

See you on the 19th