Tuesday, March 31, 2009


My kids are a little concerned about my relationship with coffee. The way I move directly toward the coffee machine upon waking and exhale a deep sigh of satisfaction after my first sip of the day ~ They are concerned I may be addicted. Perhaps...But, they don't understand that coffee and I go Waaay back; Back to when I was a very young girl and would take sips from my mother's lipstick marked cup of cold coffee left on the table.

I can't say that I loved coffee back then, but I could clearly see that coffee played an important role in our family life. A fresh pot was made every morning. Cups were poured to welcome a friend, neighbor, or good customer to the table for conversation, support, or advice. Whatever words, tears, or laughter was shared at that table, a cup of coffee played a supporting role. A pot of coffee was always made on those nights that my step-father was working all night in a snow storm. My mother couldn't sleep ~ sipping coffee from a warm cup helped pass the time and calm the worries in the middle of the night.

There was loud banging and yelling at our door late one night ~ My grandfather's house next door was on fire. We all raced downstairs and naturally assumed our roles in this emergency. My step-father ran next door to try to contain the fire. My mother was understandably upset and panicked, but was able to call the volunteer fire department and my aunt and uncle for help. I went to the kitchen and put on a pot of coffee; I knew it would be a long night.

My personal relationship with coffee was solidified in college. I drank it hot and black and it saw me through more all-night study sessions than I can count. In my professional work life, my coffee cup had its own special place on my desk next to my computer. Amazingly, I think I spilled coffee on the keyboard only once! I can't say the same about various articles of clothing.

When my husband and I were trying to start our family, my doctor suggested that I add more dairy to my diet. She said I could begin by adding cream to my coffee. Wow! What a fabulous suggestion! It has been my preferred way to drink coffee ever since!

So, I've only 'given up' coffee when forced:

  • When I was pregnant and my body physically rejected my commitment. Once my babies had been born and then had stopped breast feeding, I renewed my commitment to coffee and its stimulating effects with vigor!
  • And when my doctor suggested going cold turkey on caffeine for 6 months to see if it made a difference in the pain and lumpiness of my breasts. Those were dark days of coffee, tea, and chocolate deprivation. No change in the pain and lumpiness after 6 months ~ I couldn't get to the coffee and chocolate fast enough!

Like my mother years ago, I have found sharing a cup of coffee to be a wonderful way to connect with others. It provides a great opening when you want to get to know someone better ~ "Want to grab a cup of coffee sometime?" Or, "Let's get together for coffee - Soon!" could be code for "I miss you and want to catch up!"

My daughter asked me the other day, "Exactly how many cups of coffee do you drink a day?" My answer was "Just one, never empty till the end of the day, cup!" She was not impressed, as noted by her rolling eyes. Now, as much as I love and need my coffee, I could never love it more than I love my family ~ But, it could get a little tense and messy should they decide to block my path to the coffee pot first thing in the morning!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Rainy Days and Bright Spots

Oh, it is a rainy day. It is gray and damp and cold. Yes, folks, Spring has arrived in Maine. The snow is almost all gone and the mud and puddles have taken over! Where is the bright spot in this day? Well, there are several, but the unexpected bright spot landed on my doorstep a few minutes ago. It is a birthday gift to me from my sister and brother in law ~ unexpected because my birthday was several weeks ago! The wrapped gift is great ~ I love it and it fits! The greater gift though is the birthday card in which my sister wrote a few kind and loving words. I am filled with gratitude for the relationship that I have with her ~ the history, respect, and easy laughter and tears we share. I am also reminded of the power of the handwritten word in a little note to create a bright spot in someone's day. Hmmm... let it rain! I have paper and my favorite pen ~ a little note awaits!