366 Days of Gratitude and Good Things: Day 22

***thinks***

***thinks some more***

***friendship? or coffee?***

***coffee? or friendship?***

***flips mental coin***

Okay then. Coffee it is.  🙂

I’ve been a coffee drinker for almost as long as I can remember. When I was little, maybe six or seven, Mom used to fix me what she called a mocha: half coffee, half milk, a spoonful or so of sugar, served in an amber plastic glass (wait, if it was plastic, HOW COULD IT BE A GLASS OMG NORMAN COORDINATE) with a pebbled texture on the outside and a raised rim around the base, i.e., the bottom of the glass was about a quarter-inch above the surface upon which it was set. I still remember what the glass felt like in my hands (because she started with this when I still had to hold a full glass in both hands to keep it steady), heavy but not too heavy, warm but not too hot.

Good stuff, Maynard.

And there may well be those who would read that and have a hissy fit about giving a six-year-old coffee. Ever. Even though this wasn’t an everyday thing. I won’t say it was special occasions only, but it definitely wasn’t the way I started my mornings before school — though Mom’s day always started with coffee. First there was the Pyrex coffee pot on the stove with the metal filter basket, and it fascinated me no end to watch as the water got hot enough to push its way up through the glass stem, splat against the raised bit of the lid that made the handle, and fall back onto the grounds, the water transmuted bit by bit into something else entirely.

And Hills Bros. coffee. Maybe Maxwell House in a pinch, but never ever Folgers, as I recall. Ground, of course, because buying whole beans and grinding them yourself wasn’t yet a thing, and wouldn’t be until after Mom died. The Pyrex pots did finally get retired in favor of a Corningware electric percolator (still a metal brew basket and no paper filters). And she just may have had a Mr. Coffee before she died, although I can think of at least one friend that would have given it to her so they could use it when they came over — it would have been Mom all over to use the Corningware the rest of the time because the paper filters for the Mr. Coffee were too fussy.

Instant coffee, other than Sanka, we generally didn’t have on hand, and the Sanka was for company who wanted decaf…or as Mom called it, “unleaded”. She drank “leaded”, black, no sugar. Until those first flavored instant coffees came out, anyway, and those were quite the nice treat.

During the six or so years we were churchgoers, Mom sort of semi-adopted a young man who either had no family or wasn’t on good terms with them. He was in his very early twenties, I think, and had been in the army, but was given a medical discharge after the rifle he was testing malfunctioned and he lost two fingers and half a foot as a result. So he’d be over for dinner now and then, or stop by in the evenings for…yes, coffee. Now and then he’d bring a friend with him, same age give or take a little. One of the friends was a young Armenian man, and I think Mom put me on coffee duty that night. I knew how Semi-Adopted Son took his coffee, but I had to ask the new visitor, who was…beautiful. Tall, slim but not too thin, dark hair and eyes, and a smile that lit the room.

When I asked him how he took his coffee, he replied, “As hot as hell, as black as night, and as sweet as love.” And he smiled.

Knowing me, I went half a dozen shades of red and did my damnedest not to drop the coffee cups.  🙂

I still drink coffee, never stopped, and for whatever reason caffeine has no discernible effect on me: I never get wired, never get jittery if I drink a lot of it, never get headaches if I cut back for whatever reason seems good at the time, and I’ve never had trouble sleeping if I drink coffee late at night.

That first whiff when I either open the container at work to make a pot, or walk into a coffee shop, is heaven to me, and there’s a part of me that will always be six or seven, enjoying an amber plastic glass filled with half coffee, half milk and couple of spoons of sugar. I buy whole-bean, have for years, and enjoy adding a good sprinkling of cinnamon or nutmeg to the grounds before I start the brew cycle. One of these days I’m going to splurge on cardamom and add that to the fresh grounds.

In my world, coffee is a very good thing.

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4 Comments

Filed under 366 Days, beverages, gratitude

4 responses to “366 Days of Gratitude and Good Things: Day 22

  1. Delicious, these memories. In every way.

  2. It’s amazing how you, Syd, can make the simplest thing…coffee…just delightful. My mom had the same pots until my dad got some plug in thing that shorted out the socket. Then it was back to the old one. I never developed a taste for coffee; neither did Steve. When I worked graveyard one of the nurses made me a big cup of coffee mixed with a packet of hot chocolate and creamer. Ever since then we have had that every morning…decaf now because of my heart…..but with flavored creamer. it’s like a dessert with oatmeal.

  3. jp

    Never really got into it until the last few years, but when I get into something, I go all in. Probably a couple pots at work every morning, at least 3 k cups on my days off. (yeah, I went the keurig route a couple years ago and have kind of a love/hate relationship with it. One of the plus things: No paper filters 😀 )

  4. Syd

    Aw, cris and rosemary, thank you! And jp, I have another friend who got into coffee relatively recently — I was quite surprised when I visited him at his camp my first Burn, and he made me a cup of French-press coffee like a boss. 🙂

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