Background Knowledge: I’m very fond of the aroma of coffee. I always breathe a little deeper when coffee is brewing. Both of my parents drank coffee. My husband has to have a morning cup. My friends drink coffee. My colleagues drink coffee…except for Ruth Ayres. She had me worried when we were attending a workshop a year or so ago and there was a steaming cup of coffee she had sitting on her placemat. “What’s up with the coffee?” I asked. This is not a direct quote but her answer was something like this: I think writing and coffee go together. I think I’ve acquired a taste for it. “REALLY?” I say. So I think, maybe I need to try coffee again. I pour myself a cup from the carafe on the table. Gingerly I put the cup to my lips to take a small sip and act writerly. UGH! Coffee has the most wonderful smell but it still tastes like dirt. I give Ruth one of my looks as she nurses her cup of coffee and looks very writerly.
August 2012: The road beckons me in the summer as I love to use my “vacation” time from school for traveling. Often I go alone as my husband only has two weeks off for vacation time annually. I usually plan at least one summer road trip with Boy Blue, my grandson whom has blue-green eyes that are framed by long dark lashes. One of Boy Blue’s responses to my question, “Where are places you would like to explore?” was the The Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Sounds like a plan. Our trip is planned and we’re off. Before too many miles are traveled Boy Blue requests a Cafe Mocha. “Is it ok with your mom if you drink coffee?” I ask the almost thirteen old. “She lets me have it sometimes.” he answers. I order him a Cafe Mocha and a diet Coke for myself. My Diet Coke is quickly consumed before many miles go by and Boy Blue is snoozing in the passenger seat. Hmmm…maybe I’ll try one of these fancy coffees. I peek over to see if his eyes are still shut and sneak a sip. Hmm…doesn’t taste like dirt. How could that be? Pretty soon, I’m becoming bold in taking sips and I hear, “Grandma, what are you doing?” I responded, “Christian, can you believe it? This coffee actually tastes pretty good.” We decide we need to stop and try another kind of coffee. Christian can’t believe it. It is our big news when we return home. Grandma is drinking coffee.
When school begins and I see Ruth, I share my news, “I’m a big girl now. I drink coffee!” She smiles in a very writerly way.
March 2013: I’m still a big girl and drink coffee although not everyday. Sometimes it is not even once a week. Yesterday Steve bought me a tall iced coffee from a town errand. I pour some of the coffee into a large glass of milk and ice. I open a few packets of natural raw sugar and nurse the glass all day long wondering if I have truly made the crossover to the big girl drink. And is coffee drinking something I really want to pursue? : )
I usually suggest a book to go along with my post but not one book popped into my head until I thought about why Americans are coffee drinkers. It all began here!