I enjoy a good cup of coffee, with cream, please. Not milk. Cream. Well, actually, my go-to choice is half & half. I am my father’s daughter.
Funny, the things I associate with coffee….
My father always paired his “heavy on the half & half” coffee with the morning newspaper, a pencil & pad of notepaper (for crafting his daily to-do list), and, sadly, a slew of chain-smoked cigarettes. The latter of which was largely responsible for his death.
My mother preferred to consume three cups of strong, black coffee while reading the morning newspaper from front to back. Earlier in her life she, too, paired her coffee with a slew of chain-smoked cigarettes. Later in life, still missing a “good cigarette” with her coffee, she busied herself with crossword puzzles and sudoku after she was finished browsing through the newspaper.
My grandma’s way of enjoying her coffee was a source of entertainment and happy giggles for me as a child. A pretty cup and saucer were required implements for her morning routine. She would transfer the piping hot, rather weak liquid into her cup from the percolator on the stove. From there, the cup would be re-united with the saucer at the kitchen table, where it would sit until she had prepared her bowl of Bran Buds with sliced bananas or strawberries and milk from a glass milk bottle. Always glass, and always delivered by the local dairy. The bowl of cereal and grandma would proceed to the kitchen table and then the fun would begin! Once she was seated and had adjusted her pretty apron in her lap, she would pour a little bit of the hot coffee into the saucer. She would gently swirl that weak, brown liquid in that pretty saucer for a few seconds, raise it to her lips and slurp it – tentatively at first – until the temperature was tested – and then with gusto! And, so, the cup and subsequent cups would be drained – pouring, swirling, slurping. I loved spending the night or the weekend or an entire week in the summer at Grandma’s house. And it was worth getting up early to enjoy her morning routine with her.
My first husband loved coffee and drank it all day long. My second husband won’t drink the stuff, but loves the smell of it – fresh ground and brewed.
As for my dear old friends – I couldn’t tell you how they best like their coffee, but we have drained many a cup accompanied by wonderful conversation and soul-fulfilling time spent together!
And that leads me to the three cups I enjoyed this September Sunday morning.
I have some new friends to hang out with. Their names are Morning Glory and Hitch Hikin’ Herb. It’s so rude of me, but I really haven’t even thought of asking them if they would like to enjoy a cup while we hang out. Where are my manners? Their cousins Rosemary, Basil, Tater, and Pea Pod seem to enjoy a good sprinkling of coffee grounds occasionally – maybe Morning Glory and Hitch Hikin’ Herb would enjoy some as well?
These new friends of mine let me do all of the talking. After the initial “Good Morning” greeting and some small talk about the weather and how lovely they are and other celebrities who may be hanging out in the neighborhood at the moment, I run out of things to say and we just hang out, listening to the morning sounds of birds chirping, late summer bugs, and the crows chasing the red shouldered hawks above the tree tops. I slurp my coffee while Morning Glory and Hitch Hikin’ Herb drink in the fresh morning air and the first rays of sunshine.
Morning Glory – sowed by my hand, from a package of old seeds – sprung up to embrace the light outside of the sunporch a few months ago. She gracefully wrapped herself around the teepee I had crafted for her from Redbud branches. From there, she worked her way over to the stout Sunflower stalk who shared her space in my Can of Surprises. Sunflower, spent and leaning at a 45 degree angle, finally succumbed to wind, rain, and the pull of gravity, leaving Morning Glory flapping in the breeze. I pulled up the rickety old rocking chair and gently laid Morning Glory’s vines and leaves across the back of it. She’s been busy enveloping that chair and testing new territory on the weathered bench on the other side of her can. On September 1st she shared her first bloom and so I shared on my very first Twitter post on my new Twitter journal.
And it has been a grand morning performance every since.
Hitch Hikin’ Herb (given name, Desmodium), on the other hand, well, his seeds were no-doubt sowed by several of Mother Nature’s accomplices – birds, furry critters, and The Breeze, to name a few. He is very happily hanging out in the dappled sunlight along the wild edge of wooded creek buffer. His tiny orchid-like flowers and gracefully arching foliage are absolutely lovely to behold and seem to attract the tiniest of nectar-sipping insects. He is a native to this part of the world, and his triangular shaped seeds will provide fall and winter food for wildlife. The pods of those seeds are responsible for his endearing nickname, as they grab and hold on to anything that brushes up against them. No doubt Herb and I will be continuing our conversations throughout Autumn and Winter and early Spring, as I walk and work amongst the trees. There will be time spent tediously removing Herb’s clinging pods from socks, shoes, trousers, and jackets. At that point I’ll need to remember the beauty of his tiny flowers and the nourishment he provides for the insects and the birds and the furry ones.
And, I’ll SMILE as I remember the pleasure of time spent, over coffee, on a September Sunday morning. 😊