We’re 15 posts into this month-long series about my current adventure of owning and operating a pay-what-you-can vegan lunch café in the middle of meat-and-potatoes Midwest America. To see where the story started you can go here. You can also visit the café website or find us on Facebook

She’s been a friend for ages. I first met her at my coffeehouse. She was still working at the university then, teaching English comp, now she’s retired.

She’s my mom’s age, give or take. Like my mom, she has back pain, and hip pain, and she has a hard time getting down the stairs to our basement dining room.

Our location is not ADA compliant. It’s a sore spot with all of us. Every floor in the church is either up a flight of stairs or down. There is no access that doesn’t involve stairs.

One of my young customers told me that, years ago, her father — a former pastor — asked that the church spend some of its not-insignificant funds to bring the building into compliance. The church trustees opted to not spend the funds.

Now they will have to spend more. The new pastor is on it. We’ll see what happens.

Most days Laura asks me to bring her lunch to her while she waits in her car in the parking lot. She’d rather eat among friends in the dining room, but the stairs. The stairs.

We share a birthday, Laura and I. And a love of red accessories, and The Sun magazine, and tie dye.

She wears it better than I do.