Coffee

         Ah, coffee. One definition could read, “Liquid relaxation served in a cup or mug.”

          Most of us have tasted it. For some, the bitter brew left a longing for an ice-cold cola. But for the rest of us, coffee became our mainstay to sanity.

          What memories does coffee awaken with its fresh-brewed aroma? A quiet sunrise accompanied by a steaming mug and a donut? Or the relief of a cup at work on a much-needed coffee break? Maybe an after-dinner coffee sipped while reading?

          When I think of coffee, I don’t smell it or taste a certain flavor. I don’t hear the percolator or feel warmth radiating into my bones. When I think of coffee, I think of people.

          Through sharing hundreds of cups during my coffee-drinking career, I’ve seen tears, heard tales, joined in laughter. Memories swirl: my husband bringing a cup just when I needed it most, my dad surprising my mom and me with a pot of decaf, my brother’s knack for making the best coffee around, which I can’t do even mimicking his every move.IMG_0022 - Copy

          Maybe you think of one specific person whenever coffee is mentioned. For me, that’s my grandmother.

          Oh, it wasn’t the coffee itself, though she did brew a good cup. Nor the adored china teacups we used. I recall the stories. My grandmother was a storyteller. Allow me to share one of my favorites.

          My grandmother fell in love with a set of dishes on sale at Bowman’s Department Store and hinted at my grandfather about her upcoming birthday. As it approached, she knew she’d receive the treasured dishes. Sure enough, on her birthday, a Bowman’s truck pulled up to the curb. She raced to the door and yanked it open. There stood the delivery man, smiling and handing her two brand-new clothes props. (People used these to “prop up” the clothesline to keep drying clothing from touching the ground.) Snatching them with a huff, she planned the attack for my grandfather when he returned home.

          As she walked away, the bell rang a second time. She reopened the door to see the same delivery man, this time bearing a box containing the coveted dishes.

          Coffee and love became synonymous when I saw my grandmother’s smile as she remembered this tale. Over the years, she shared pieces of her life through stories told over a hundred cups of coffee. Invite someone to share a cup of love with you today!

 ***I’d love to read your coffee-cup tale! To leave your story, click on the words beside the date under the title of this post. Then, scroll to the bottom of the comment section to find the box with the heading, “Leave a reply.” Thank you for sharing!

 *** Stop by next Monday to read how a pink poodle bank and a $5 bill saved a young couple!

 

Mud

Mud. No other word draws all five senses together in such a short moment. See it ooze between tiny toes. Hear it squish as bare feet smush into it. Feel it cool and grainy, wet and slippery. Smell its fresh-after-the-rain fragrance. And taste? Why, mud pies, of course, fed to unsuspecting kid brothers and ever-loyal canine companions.

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            To me, mud tastes like a tomato sandwich, slathered with butter and coated with sugar. The problem began with the fact that this delicious concoction never filled my stomach without a second helping.

            One sunny afternoon, as most teens are wont to do, I lazed in my backyard while eating my first tomato sandwich of the season. The fresh tomato juices mixed with the creamy butter and slid down my throat. The grass, sparkling in the sun, needed mowed with all the rain we’d had recently. Dad would get to it over the weekend, but for now, it soaked through my canvas sneakers as I pushed the swing to and fro.

            Suddenly, the desire for another sandwich, the tomato juicy and the sugar thick enough to chew, beckoned, and with a holler to my mom to please start making one, I ran for the house. In my eagerness, I forgot about the constant mud by the door. My wet sneakers didn’t allow me to slow down, and I slid the last several feet, trying frantically to stop. I did stop, after I crashed through the plate glass storm door into the kitchen. I lay there, sprawled on the kitchen floor, while glass cascaded around and over me. I picked myself up, dazed but miraculously unharmed except a few knicks on my arms.

            Mud. What scenes does it pull from memories long-buried? Maybe a free-for-all mud fight in a neighborhood park. Could be a tire stuck in six inches, getting deeper with each rev of the engine. Or how about rain splashing in a blessed puddle after a long drought. See it, hear it, feel it, smell it, and if you dare, taste it.

            When our senses tingle from an experience, we feel alive. We have a concrete relationship with the event. Maybe this thought caused Jesus to choose to use mud when He healed the blind man, even though He needed nothing to create this miracle. Mud – I can feel it; can you?

 Share your “muddy” story with us in the comments below.