Friday, July 27, 2007

Morning Coffee

So. I took my morning coffee on the verandah today…three cups of it, anyway, accompanied by about a third of a cigar. And, in so doing, I put off my usual routine of coffee/making the virtual rounds until rather late in the morning, as defined by folks with real lives and…um…dare I say it?

There wasn’t a cloud in the sky when I stepped outside, coffee in hand, this morning. And it was already up to 75 degrees at 0830. A beautiful day, in other words. So, there I sat, coffee in one hand, cigar in the other, feet up and feeling pretty danged good about things. I got to thinking about days gone by and of other places I’ve had my morning coffee.

The first place that came to mind was here, and this is a pic of my deck at the ol’ homestead in Fairport, NY. I was always an early riser back in my working days, and I’d often take my first cup of coffee on the deck (and sometimes the second cup, too, depending on the schedule) and watch the sun come up over the neighborhood…say around 0530, or so. In the summer time, of course, the deck being not quite as accommodating in the winter, as you can see. The thing I loved about this particular place and time was the quiet…traffic hadn’t yet begun its crawl out of the sub-division, the birds were chirping, most of the world was still asleep, and there was always a certain coolness in the air before the summer sun began warming Upstate New York. It was very peaceful, in other words, and a good place to get organized while contemplating the upcoming day.

So…various and sundry other places popped into and out of my mind, as well. The dining room table in Ferndale, Michigan that overlooked the backyard, aka “the garden,” as the Brits say. Watching the dogs chase the squirrels in the early summer morning, windows open, and warm, humid breezes blowing in and billowing the lacy curtains back and forth.

Or sitting on my patio at the house in Oklahoma City (Choctaw, actually, a suburb of OKC), looking out over the property which consisted of two acres dotted with numerous scrub oaks and two or three “real” trees (i.e., over ten feet tall). One of the real trees was a towering oak of about 40 feet or so that sported an old-fashioned two-seat swing suspended from a thick low-hanging bough. Coffee was taken in that swing too, often in the company of The Second Mrs. Pennington…but she usually only joined me in the swing on the weekends.

And then there were those times back in my Work Days, when I was on the road and had to arise, get cleaned up, and get fully dressed before I had my first cup. I took those first cups in various dining rooms or coffee shops at the hotels I stayed in. London. Singapore. Beijing. Moscow. The coffee was uniformly bad, nearly always. A good cup of coffee, in the days before Starbucks and especially overseas, was a rare thing, indeed. Eventually I took to carrying my own coffee with me.

I thought about other places where morning coffee was had…places like the various apartments I’ve lived in, the Air Force chow halls, and the RV parks I’ve stayed at/in, too. My morning coffee, and the rituals surrounding it, is perhaps the one thing that has remained unchanged throughout my life. A lot of things change in life as we move forward …people, places, and things… but some things remain the same. And my morning coffee ritual is one of the constants. The end is nigh if that ever changes…


  1. Love the pictures of the flowers. Gardening was never one of my talents or passions, though I do love to stroll through a well tended one.

  2. "And my morning coffee ritual is one of the constants."

    From the time I could sit at the table, I joined my dad for coffee in the early mornings (mine was more like coffee milk). Toby and I have a cup of coffee every morning. Sometimes we sit in bed or in the living room. Sometimes we sit outside, but it is a ritual that I treasure.

    I like the NY deck pic - could be a painting...

  3. Coffee.... when I have time to get some at home, otherwise I get it at work. In the summer at home, favorite place is the screen porch. Funny, I didn't actually start drinking coffee until I was about 27, so I can't say it's a lifetime ritual.

  4. Hottie?

    I (almost) want to start drinking coffee after reading this post. I envy the ritual; it sounds like a wonderful way to have some peaceful time for yourself to gain perspective.

    I just got back from a week in D.C. and I'm REALLY looking forward to a good night's sleep. However good the beds are in various hotels I just don't sleep well when I'm away from "home".

    Good night.

  5. Like father like son...

    I'm having my second cup...enroute to the ritual 6-8, sometimes 10 (utilizing the oh-so outdated 5 oz standard), and I too recently had thoughts along the same lines.

    I'll have to say the house in Layton, with its front picture window facing the Wasatch is my personal favorite. I think you may recall a conversation where I told you I had figured out why pink and baby blue were the choices for baby's clothes. Looking out that very window at the sunrise over the mountains with perfect pink and sky blue hues, it dawned on me that it had to be the morning sky that inspired the use of those colors...a perfect, unspoiled beginning. Coffee enhances thinking! Or, at the very least in my case, enables it...

    I'm out...time for my third cup!


  6. This is dangerous...I'm responding prior to pouring/drinking my first cup. ;-)

    First of all...that's the first time I've ever been described using that particular term, Michele, but thanks! I'm assuming you're speaking about the pic in the Wings jersey.

    I like that pic, too, Becky. The previous owners of that house put that bed in...we just maintained it. But I was a pretty good gardener, both flowers and veggies, in my (fixed residence) day.

    Like you, Lou, I started drinking coffee as a child, and like you, it was heavily diluted with milk until I got to be a junior or senior in high school. I usually had my morning coffee with Mom, though, as Dad was usually log gone by the time I got up. TSMP and I usually shared coffee in the morning, almost always at the kitchen/dining room table. She would pass however, if I were out the door before say...0600.

    Wow, Laurie...27 is pretty late to begin! How did you get started?

    A week in DeeSee, Sam? Who didja p!ss off? ;-)

    I hear you about hotel beds...I was the same way. Still am, sorta.

    And now, like Buck...I'm gonna pour coffee, my first cup. Your view of the Wasatch was classic, Buck, and one of the better living room views I've ever seen.

  7. SN1, Your description, "Looking out that very window at the sunrise over the mountains with perfect pink and sky blue hues, it dawned on me that it had to be the morning sky that inspired the use of those colors...a perfect, unspoiled beginning." is very poetic - must be the morning coffee:)

    I hear you on the beds - sleep is just better at home.

  8. "Wow, Laurie...27 is pretty late to begin! How did you get started?"

    Well, I had a cold and had a busy week where I was not home much, and I was ordering it in diners because it was hot and they keep bringing the refills. LOL! For some reason I didn't want tea. Then I don't think I started drinking it every day for awhile after. Guess I had to acquire the taste. Pics of my favorite place for morning coffee here. Of course the light isn't right because I didn't run out in the yard in my robe and slippers this morning to take the pics, but you'll get the idea.

  9. Lovely images. Especially yours, SN1. Now, whenever I see babies in their light blues and pinks, I'll always remember your poetic musings. Your image of the morning sky over the Wasatch Mountains is the perfect way for me to start my day with coffee here this morning. Thanks!

    Unfortunately for me, no one in my family drinks coffee but me. My dad didn't either. My mom and I "drink up" the ritual whenever we're together - and my kids' friend, Ivan, adds to the quiet pleasure whenever he stays the night and joins me the following morning. A nice quiet social time to talk about family and philosophy. He tells me that when he was a child in Mexico, he drank it before bed in order to go to sleep!

    Usually, I spend my coffee time with my computer work or with my blog friends.

    Beautiful flowers, too, Buck.

  10. Nice pics, Laurie. I can see where it just might be hard to tear yourself away and get doing what you have to be doing... unless, of course, you have your laptop with you.

    Bec: Wow, it's too bad you're the "one and only" in your family. (But then again, you know who's gonna get the last cup, don't you?) The social aspects of coffee-drinking are many and varied, indeed. Some of the better moments I've shared with friends (and lovers) over my lifetime have been "over coffee."

    And obviously "done good" with your poetic image.


  11. you just looked great, what can i say... take the compliment...and enjoy :-) i don't give them out - much!

  12. I too was late to the coffee game - probably in my early 20s. My parents never let me have the stuff as a kid so I never developed an early taste for it. During college the coffee was SO bad that much as I would have liked to get into the habit - I couldn't stand the taste.

    Once I got married that changed; The Oracle is a huge coffee fiend, especially that AM cuppa.

    I've made up for lost time with a serious addiction to Starbucks and their many & varied concoctions that a purist would likely not consider a coffee product.

    I attempted cleaner living last year and reduced my caffeine intake by about 70%. For me it's now more the ritual of the hot cup of something in the morning - at my desk at work. It's usually herbal tea here.

    At home on the weekends, it's real coffee. Usually 2-3 cups both days if time permits.

    Again, it's the ritual. Pouring the cup, adding whatever, holding the warmth in your hand as you contemplate the view, your day, or what have you.

  13. That deck looks like a fantastic place to wake up with a coffee, albeit not in Winter.

    You give many reviews of your happy hour consumption, Buck, but have you ever talked about what sort of coffee you really like a lot, or which you personally brew each morning? Probably so, but could you at least point me in that direction? I love a good cuppa and have ground my own, from various coffee companies, for years now. Wouldn't mind becoming hep to anything good I might have missed.

  14. Currently my favorite coffee is "Ressurection" from the Raven's Brew Coffee Co., followed closely by "Deadman's Reach" from the same place. I got these in Alaska last summer. Locally, I like to go to Medicine Park, down by Lawton, and get "Buffalo Grounds" house blend. Next up on my list is probably Ted Nugent coffee.. Like you, there's not a day goes by without many good cuppas.

  15. Of course, "Ressurection" is actually spelled "Resurrection"; obviously I need to drink more. Coffee.

  16. We are, by nature, creatures of habit. I must have my travel mug of coffee in hand before climbing into the cab of my pickup each morning. I will, of course, have more coffee at work, but there is something comforting about the cup 'o joe on the road.

  17. Folgers Black Silk preferred. The first one checking the news and weather online. Casa del Sharon and Glenn in Cal City doesn't have it's TV yet. One large 24 ounce travel mug for the commute to the flight line parking lot at Hangar 1630 at Edwards AFB. Usually through the gate just a bit before sunrise at this time of year. I am liking the Eastern Sky heading for the new job. Winter mornings in the Desert are flat awesome. You would like it here Buck.

  18. Kris sez: The Oracle is a huge coffee fiend, especially that AM cuppa.

    I've met VERY few IT guys who weren't serious coffee junkies. A few, yes... but less than 5% of the total IT folks I knew.

    And Kris... if I cut my caffeine consumption as drastically as you did -- my heart would just STOP.

    Jim: The deck was nice, indeed. One of my best morning places ever. Check your mail.

    Staci: I drink Millstone these days... available nearly everywhere, including Wally-World. Specialty coffees are pretty rare out here in deepest, darkest flyover country. Except on the 'net, of course. ;-)

    BR and Glenn: I did that travel mug thing back in the day, too. I still do if there's need for me to be somewhere early in the morning.

    And Glenn... I did my time out in the desert, thank ya! Some might say there's precious little difference between the Mojave and The High Plains of New Mexico -- they're similar in a lot of ways. But you're MUCH closer to civilization than I am... ;-)


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