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Man Cannot Live on Bread Alone ...

... or can he? This Panera is bustling with people.

As you can see from our photo, the ice-covered trees and, as my own kids pointed out, "even the blades of grass" were glistening in the sunlight.

The folks inside the Panera Bread had a sunny disposition, too, on the Monday morning of our Coffee Talk.

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We found Rose Haeseli form Campton Hills seeking out warmth near the fire. Rose said, “I don’t have enough time to read up on the news,” though she plans to check out Geneva Patch since it’s local and she seems to like the idea of reading only that which she’s interested in.

Rose and I had a nice chat by the fire as she described her job administering vision and hearing screenings to kids in the St. Charles District 303. With the ISAT testing this week, Rose had the week off.

Rose mentioned the last offspring before adulthood in her house is 16 years old and said while living in Campton Hills for 12 years, her kids have had a wonderful experience in the schools there.

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Next, we met with Jennifer, a busy mom on the other end of the spectrum, with toddlers Carley and Jack (and one more who happened to be at school during our visit.)

Covering everything from early-childhood intervention to iPhone apps, we had a lively conversation sharing information. Jennifer said she feels a little out of touch, being home with the kids and focusing on that important job. She plans to check out the Moms Talk on Wednesday at 1 p.m. and thinks Patch will help keep her more aware of what's going on in the "outside world."

Jennifer mentioned reading a story about a guy who had a "find my phone" app that enabled authorities to find the criminal who stole his phone.

I think I could use that app just about any day of the week—not to protect me from criminals but from my absent-minded self. I don't even want to think about the number of hours I spend looking for my phone in any given week.

People that know me are nodding their heads right now ...  muttering tsk, tsk.

Of course, we spoke about the differences between the Nook and the Kindle, too. This is technology that allows readers to download and read various books electronically. Remember the friendly "take a book, leave a book" shelves? There's one in the Geneva train station, if it's still there. The electronic book providers are even coming up with a book-sharing plan—so if you download a book you like, you can share it with a friend (on the same device). Wow, that's cool!

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Guess what our next Patch victim was holding—a book! (The real kind, with actual pages.) The book was one Ernie read in college and is out of print. Ernie said, "This brings back memories form when I was attending Indiana University."

We talked about his kids, two of whom are teachers. Of the controversial anti-union bill fiasco in Wisconsin, Ernie said “There are advantages and disadvantages. One disadvantage is that it takes away consistency. The advantage would be more local decision making.”

Ernie agreed that things are tough all over and everyone is scrambling to make budgets work. As a member who sits on the committee “Ministry to Victims of Domestic Abuse," Ernie makes the observation that while services are cut, awareness (and need) is greater.

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Speaking of iPhones, Judy Althoff said “I can’t live without it” as she shared some cool stuff on her phone with a friend. These ladies were pretty excited about Patch—being computer techies and all …

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Our last visit of the last day in February was with the Dailey family, who was in town visiting with their aunt and uncle. “Now, we can say we ended our trip with a little adventure" along with church on Sunday at Christ the King Church, they added.

I was flattered that running into a Patch correspondent while fueling up for the trip home was considered an “adventure."

Come seek out your own adventure as we hit the local coffee shop once again next week at 8 a.m. Tuesday, March 8, at the Starbucks just down the street from Panera Bread off Randall Road!

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