Tag: Coffee (Page 2 of 2)

If We Were Having Coffee #6

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If we having coffee I would once again have a number of choices to offer you: a few different breakfast blends, a blueberry blend, a Columbian blend, a cappuccino, and that decaf breakfast blend that just won’t go away. I’m going with Seattle’s Best Breakfast Blend and Irish Cream creamer. I’ll have to venture to the Pacific Northwest someday.

I’ve been traveling a little bit more for work this last month. A few day trips, a conference near Pittsburgh, and a trip to Cincinnati. I have another trip to Houston coming up which I always enjoy. Great Mexican Food and Whataburger highlight my trips to Texas. They are also as close as I get to my home state of Arizona so I take advantage of the culture similarity. Traveling there is a teaser that makes me a little homesick.  I get that way every now and then.  Although I love my life in New York, and it is home now, Arizona will always be my first home.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you we are busy planning all the things that go along with a senior graduating high school. June will be a busy month. I think we have most of the college details nailed down with the exception of some last minute local scholarships we know my son is getting but are unsure of the financial award yet. They all add up and thankfully will lessen the burden on my wife and me.

We are planning his graduation party for this summer and will most likely have it at a fire hall near my house.  It’s common to rent a fire hall up here. The cost is reasonable, and the money supports a volunteer based fire department.  We’ve never planned a party like this so we are treading on an unfamiliar path. It’s exciting.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that all of this college preparation and graduation planning is bittersweet.  I am proud of my son for all of his accomplishments and the opportunity he has earned in being accepted into a very selective program at the university he will be attending yet I am saddened by the fact that he will be gone.  I know this is part of parenting but it doesn’t lessen the sadness I am feeling. Maybe as that dorm move in date gets closer, the excitement will trump the sadness.  Maybe not.

All I can hope for is that my wife and I have prepared him properly for the journey he is about to take. It’s been a little tough on us because we could not speak to him from experience.  My education was done entirely through a combination of night school and online classes while my wife’s was done while working prior to our children’s birth then finished up once they were in school. Neither of us know what it would be like to live on campus. What we do know though is what the priority will be: school. We both have confidence in him.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there will come a morning in late August where my wife, my twelve year old, and I will wake up and start our day a little differently than we have every other morning. There will be something missing that morning and unselfishly, it will be a good thing.

A short two hour drive away, my son will be waking up in a dorm room and starting his day a little differently than he has every other morning.  I can only imagine the thoughts that will be going on in his head that morning. The excitement and nervousness that his first day of class is about to start will most likely be overwhelming.

And then, like every other school morning, his cell phone will ding or vibrate, and there will be a group message that either my wife or I start that will state: Love you all, have a great day!

And we will all respond like we always do and there will be some sense of normalcy returned to us for the remainder of the day.

I wonder what his morning coffee experience will be like that day.

Until next time…

If We Were Having Coffee #5

 

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If we were having coffee, I would show off our new coffee carousel we bought last weekend. There are now breakfast blends, a Kona blend, cappuccinos, and a few decafs that will probably occupy space for some time. I’m going with a breakfast blend, sweetener, and French vanilla creamer. I’d also offer you a fresh blueberry muffin my wife just made.  We pick blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries each year and freeze them for use throughout the year.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I missed work on Monday.  I aggravated something in my lower back over the weekend and woke up Monday barely able to walk. I was fortunate to be able to see the doctor later that day, and the combination of Tylenol, anti-inflammatory meds, and Icey Hot have me feeling much better.  I’m going to milk it a little though so I get excused from weekend chores which should allow me some extra writing time.  Unless my wife reads this of course.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I watched my son play tennis this week. He decided at the last minute to not run track this year and went out for tennis instead.  He has now played four years of soccer, two years of baseball, one year of track, and now tennis. He’s really made the most of his time in high school.

I only played football in high school although I should have played tennis. I got grounded the summer between my freshman and sophomore year and my mother made me play tennis with her each day as part of my punishment.  This is the same mother who grounded me by making me read books, write book reports, and keep a vocabulary list one summer. She had played tennis in high school and placed in doubles for state. It was humiliating and not cool for a fourteen year old… then.  Some older kids would watch and tease me as my mother would beat me time after time. She challenged them to play and one kid did. He was seventeen. He started playing every day with us and our skills improved with my mother’s coaching. We started playing doubles against two kids who were our school team’s doubles champions.  After beating them, numerous times, they encouraged me and my new friend to try out for tennis.  We were too cool for that and told them tennis was gay. Especially the little white shorts they had to wear.  Ok, ok… to all my gay friends – lighten up. That was decades ago; different time, different era.  I was a closet tennis player but I’m coming out here.

I drove my son to the high school this morning to catch the bus for an out of town tennis meet. Or do you say match?  While we were waiting in the parking lot, a large bus pulled in and this excited my son because he had been told they were taking the little yellow bus. He’s use to the bigger sports that get the full size bus.  The big bus wasn’t his. It was the track team from another town coming to a meet in our town and they were lost.  The tennis coach gave the driver directions to the Athletic Complex,  the little yellow bus pulled up, and I wished my son good luck. I was in a hurry to get back home and get out of chores, you know, because of my back. Ouch.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I followed the big bus out of the parking lot back towards the highway. I noticed they went the wrong way and were heading towards Pennsylvania so I followed them. About five miles down the road, I believe the bus driver realized he was lost and pulled over. I pulled in front of them and got out of my car and walked back to the bus as he was opening the door.  The driver and two coaches both smiled at me when I told them they were still lost; like they didn’t already know that. While they were laughing in agreement, I told them to follow me and I would take them to the Athletic Complex.  They made it to their track meet and I saw the driver, coaches, and a few kids waving at me as I turned around and headed home. Cool.

I’m going to have one more coffee then get back to writing. If the meds kick in shortly, I might just head outside and help with the yard.  Spring cleaning can be somewhat therapeutic. My back will get better. I’ve found over the years that my body is quite resilient.

Maybe I will buy a  racquet and play tennis with my kids. I’d like that.

Until next time…

B

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If We Were Having Coffee #4

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If we were having coffee, I would have a number of choices to offer you today: a Kona Blend, a Breakfast Blend, Hazelnut, Maxwell House’s House Blend, and I still have that box of decaf.  We had family over for Mexican food yesterday and bought a number of different flavors to satisfy a house full of coffee drinkers. I will have the hazelnut this morning.

I would tell you a how a writer friend of mine explained what a Kona Blend was to me and likened it to using a Monet for a doormat. I understand now, but instantly thought a Monet doormat would make a wonderful impression. No disrespect to Monet or all you art aficionados of course.

Friends. I would ask you if you thought you could be friends with someone you’ve never met. Well could you? I can and feel I have made friends with a number of beautiful souls over the last year. Strangers, acquaintances, and friends. I won’t get into semantics.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am not as depressed as I initially was after completing the FAFSA application for financial aid awards from the two universities my son was accepted to. There is this magical formula that decides what our expected family contribution should be that almost sent me over the edge.  Financial aid award packets arrived this week. I also did some research on tax breaks, federal work study, and additional scholarship monies my son should receive. My son did his part in earning a very large merit scholarship and he has made his decision on which school he wants to attend now with the more expensive of the two private colleges now being cheaper. I knew it would be his first choice anyway. He loved it despite the fact that they don’t allow freshman to have cars on campus. No worries though because the school  gives free bus passes to students.  He will be able to get to the mall and we can postpone getting a new car and giving him ours for a year. It will still be very expensive but bottom line is it’s doable for us with some minor household changes. We are excited for him and feel very blessed at the opportunity afforded him.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how upset I was at the recent events at a university in Kenya. I just can’t fathom what happened and it saddens me; a shopping mall last year and now a university with innocent people dying for what? Both acts defy any sense of reason. There was a HBO documentary on television the other night about the incident at the mall. Stories of how an act of terrorism brought about acts of heroism and human spirit. Muslims, Christians, Hindus, blacks, whites, mothers, children, store employees, police officers, and students.

Yet here I sit making minor adjustments with bills, getting rid of some premium channels, adjusting our phone plan by getting rid of our land line, and postponing the new car. We are spoiled as a country and I wonder how many people here realize how fortunate we really are as we continue to complain about such trivial crap in the greater scheme of things.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about a touching post I read the other day on Facebook by one of my friends from graduate school.  She had commented about how she couldn’t imagine what the families of those Jewish children who died in a fire in Brooklyn last month were going through and said she was praying for both them and their families. She is originally from New York City and is also a mother of two kids herself.  She and her husband are Muslim. Her husband is also an officer in the Marine Corp. What does that have to do with anything? Nothing yet everything.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I welcomed the day with more snow. Much of it had melted over the last few days with warmer spring weather finally arriving. The forecast called for less than an inch of snow today. They were wrong. I think we already have two inches. I love it. Some of you are already planting flowers or gardens. For us, our first planting isn’t until May. It will all work out.

Lastly, I would tell you Happy Easter or maybe Happy Passover. Regardless of your religious convictions or non-convictions, beliefs or non-beliefs, I would just want you to have a happy day.

Until next time…

The view from my kitchen window this morning

The view from my kitchen window this morning

 

If We Were Having Coffee #3

 

Decaf

If we were having coffee, I would offer you a Kona blend in a confident manner that might suggest I actually know what a Kona blend even is.  I could offer you a Breakfast Blend just to get rid of it. I inadvertently missed the green “decaf” marker on the side of the box and not surprisingly, the box has lasted almost two weeks although I have been having a late night decaf coffee now and then.  OK, I’m just kidding. I wouldn’t sneak you the decaf.  That would just be selfish and cruel. Actually, I’m a bit wired after having two cups. I’ll take the decaf.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you the last four weeks have been a bit of a downer for me. I had a death in the family and for some self-torturous reason; I have subjected myself to news overload.  I continually bounced around stations absorbing enough news that should have made me an expert on current events but all it did was confuse the hell out of me and make me wonder if I was living in two different countries or there was some parallel universe where these events might be legitimately interpreted differently. Regardless, they are just different degrees of negative interpretation.  Enough of that.

Life’s balance. I’ve also been reading a number of blogs that have compassion based themes reminding me of why there is hope. There are kind, unselfish people out there and that is uplifting. I don’t see much of that though on sensationalized news stories.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you I’ve been writing seriously now for almost a year. I had a short story published and shared it with my aunt and with my uncle who just passed away. They both enjoyed it and encouraged me to keep writing.  Prior to his passing, my uncle even commented to my mother that he enjoyed it. My mother didn’t even know I was writing. She is a writer, an English major, and has had numerous papers and poems published.  My uncle’s passing reminded me how quickly someone can be taken from us so for her birthday a week and a half ago, I sent her a print copy of the collection of short stories I was published in. I autographed it, thanking her for making me read as a child. She read it, sent me an email telling me how proud she was, encouraged me to continue writing, and more importantly, told me it made her cry.  Approval.  She also took on an editing job last week for a sci-fi novel. Her first since she retired years ago.

If we were having coffee, I would suggest that all the events of the last four weeks are having an effect on a short story I am writing. Writing triggers. It’s somewhat of a dark story about a man who has made a decision to kill someone. I had the story completely outlined and short of giving you a synopsis (which I am lousy at) I can feel weeks of grief, music, negativity overload, compassion, and family love taking my story in a different direction.  Maybe.  Another thousand words will tell.  Maybe I will have my mom edit it.

Would you like another cup of coffee? I need one, decaf just doesn’t cut it.

Back to writing…

“No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.”  – Robert Frost

If We Were Having Coffee #1

I’ve been reading a few of these each week and love the format for random thoughts (and I have many). So, I’m going to give it a go.

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If we were having coffee, it might be at my kitchen table. I’d offer you a number of choices because we have had a Keurig since Christmas and I think I’m a barista now. Today is a breakfast blend for me with hazelnut creamer.  Not a fancy brand, just the local supermarket brand and it was on sale. We are quickly finding out k-cups are not cheap. I’d also offer you a donut. We picked some up last night for half price on the way home from seeing a movie, the first time my wife and I have been out together without kids in months.

I would tell you I had a short weekend last week because I had to travel on a Sunday to work in Texas for three days. I would rather not travel on a Sunday but it was required that I be there first thing Monday morning. It worked out well for me because I wanted to make it home by Thursday, my wife’s birthday. With my luck traveling as of late, along with weather surprises we have had in the Northeast, I knew there was a risk but it all worked out perfectly.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you about the short story I wrote in my head while sitting in the airplane. Although my writing is going painfully slow on my novel and I should be putting all my effort into that, I decided to take a break and write another short story. I just have to run with it.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how I am praying my son did well in his scholarship competition yesterday. We were on the road at six in the morning and made the two and half hour drive to a college he was accepted to so he and a hundred plus other students could compete for one of ten full tuition scholarships being awarded. The college has already offered him a nice scholarship but a full tuition scholarship, and a renewable one at that, would be so financially comforting to me and my wife.  At worst, the college would give each participant $1500 just for trying.  Fifteen minutes of his time will either be worth $1500 or $14,000. Either way, he is a winner in my eyes.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you how upset I was yesterday evening watching the news. When I travel, I tend to watch too much news in my hotel room because I don’t like flipping channels to see what is on. I’ve become spoiled having a menu of all the shows and their times on TV. All through the week the media kept updating us on the fact there was no real update concerning the fate of two remaining hostages being held by terrorists in the Middle East. Yesterday came the sad news that a second hostage from Japan had been killed.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that there are two things I seldom talk about outside my family circle: religion and politics. Yet here I am today still wondering what kind of man or woman who claims to be a follower of any God or prophet can kill so indiscriminately in the name of religion whether it is now, or hundreds and hundreds of years ago. I would question how any government, regardless of political or religious ideology, can sit on the sidelines while atrocities like this exist in our world.

As we sip our coffee in the comfort of my kitchen, I would silently give thanks. Thanks that I still believe good trumps evil and will prevail in the end. Thanks that there is still something beautiful on this planet worth saving. Thanks that despite the darkness that envelopes us at times we can still find light.

“If you are writing any book about the end of the world, what you are really writing about is what’s worth saving about it.” Justin Cronin

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