Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thirty Thanks, Day 19: Coffee (200th Post)

This is the 200th post on this blog. I'd say that's quite an accomplishment. So we have a very special topic for today's "Thankful" feature. Enjoy.

A long time ago in a faraway land called Montana, my mother gave five-year-old Katie two ounces of coffee in a tiny tupperwear container. It was part cream, part coffee, part Sugar Twin. It was perfectly flavored, and I fell in love with that perfection.

Fast forward to July 4th, 1996 in Seattle. It was my family's first (or second? I can't remember) trip to Gasworks Park for their fourth of July celebration. We ate sandwiches in the car and, because I was so accustomed to "dipping" my PB&J in milk, I needed something to quench my thirst. My father had a gigantic travel thermos--I swear, that thing held at least 40 ounces. The lid was used as a cup and I begged to take a drink. "I NEED coffee!" I exclaimed. Dad was driving and mom took care of the coffee-dispersion. "It's just plain, black coffee," Dad warned me as Mom passed back the cup-lid. I don't remember much else except that I was reprimanded for not saying "please", and of course that I was actually fancied the heavy flavor of black coffee.

Fast forward once more to 2001, just as I began 7th grade. Because I'd started private school my parents now drove me to school on the way to work. There was a coffee stand at the end of our street (something common in Washington) and on Mondays they had $2 mochas. My mother and I began a long tradition of stopping here each Monday, sipping our coffee on the way to school and work.

And now fast forward one last time... not to a singular moment, or a precise date on the lengthening calendar of my life.... but to a thousand moments, a million separately wonderful instances and events in which coffee enhanced life's greatest treasures.

The first time my husband said he loved me, we were sharing a caramel macchiato. (It was on accident, and I told him to take it back because we weren't even officially dating yet, but still...)

My best friend and I first bonded at a coffee house.

When I was a teenager and my dad and I both had free time in the summer, I felt incredibly hospitable and grown up when I volunteered to bring him more coffee.

In all of my jobs, I have connected with coworkers over coffee.

I have more coffee cups than anything else. More mugs than socks, underwear, spoons, maybe even more than paperclips.

I am so thankful for coffee. I am thankful for how it brings people together, connecting us through sorrow or joy or rage. I am thankful for it's alleviating strength, how it can make an awkward situation endurable or a weakening fatigue less overwhelming. I am thankful for its approachable nature in that "meeting for coffee" can be both a safe way to interact, or an ordinary event that could lead to something more adventures. I am thankful for its many flavors and varieties and methods of being brewed, allowing food-artists the opportunity to be innovative and creative. I am thankful how it is desirable in every season, in every circumstance, for many ages and stages of life. I am thankful for its calming nature, for the way a cup of coffee can bring me back to focus and center and stability, or give me the headspace for inspiration and creativity. I am thankful for its presence in so much of my life, for what it adds to life, for what it exposes in the ordinary and the extraordinary.

Thanks, coffee. You're incredible.

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