Posted by: Jim E | September 26, 2011

“A Cup Of Coffee?”…Our Courtyard…On A Perfect Day…

Here I am…I just had a cup of coffee…and decided to write about it…well, not really…but how about the “institution” of a cup of coffee…just yesterday we had two of our Grandkids for the afternoon…their folks had some errands to run…and we had the pleasure of their company…Judie played games with them…they went for a walk and did what young Grandkids do…Oh, and also “bugged” their Grandfather…anyway, when Jared and Marisa came back to retrieve their young offspring…we sat down for a while and talked…more on this later…

I just now came from having a cup of coffee on our porch…(in Minnesota, it would have been our deck…but here, in Arkansas, they have porches)…in our case, like most here, a covered porch…they are covered because, in the summer, it is so beastly hot, you don’t go  outside and enjoy the weather, the weather is not enjoyable…at least you don’t do it much anyhow…and when you do, it better be covered…in either case you will be very hot and wet from all the perspiration (yah, sweat)…so most don’t enjoy going outside during the summer, even at sundown…it is so hot and humid…now, in Minnesota, being outside in the summer is what it is all about…you know, its summer or its winter in Minnesota…so it is during the summer, if you want to enjoy sitting outside in shorts, with a cup of coffee…but I digress…

So here I am…sitting in front of my computer as I tell you my thoughts as I drank coffee and ate a couple of cookies…and a part of a cinnamon-chip scone…if I’m not careful I will digress again…but as I sat having coffee…I thought about yesterday and also many years ago…both at the same time…getting back to Jared and Marisa picking up the kids…and talking for a few minutes…that’s yesterday and then my mind raced to years ago…I was at my folks house or at my Grandparents house next door…and friends or relatives dropped in for a few minutes…they would not have to be there for even a few minutes…and this “institution” would come out of my Grandma or Mom’s mouth, “Have a cup of coffee?”…as she put the pot on the stove…no answer was given, no answer was expected…the coffee pot went on the stove…both of them had a “vacuum coffee pot”…water in the bottom, coffee in the top…a stopper in between…when the water got hot…the water would rise by whatever physical science law…and it would tumble among the coffee grounds in the top…when all the water was up there…the fire would be turned off…and down would come the hot water, now coffee, through the grounds and into the bottom pot…coffee, marvelous coffee!!!…

The cookies or cake or whatever, was already out on the table…and cups all around…and we had coffee…I don’t think that was a totally Minnesota tradition…Oh, I would like to claim it so…you know, Scandinavian traditions and all that…but I think this goes across the country, maybe around the world…”A cup of coffee?”…heard when I was a kid over and over…and what happened to me yesterday?…I sat there like a dunce…and didn’t even think of it…not until today…out on the covered porch…the weather is beautiful…and will be for the next couple of months…perfect temps…low humidity…blue skies…a fair weather cloud or two floating across the sky…and I sat there kicking myself about not offering coffee when they came to our house (I mean, the “institution”)…now, our vacuum pot is put away…and we have a Keurig coffee maker…you know the “one cup” wonder…how easy is that…and I was still a failure to my heritage…well, it might be that they don’t drink coffee but all’s the same…

Well, next time join us on the porch and overlook our small courtyard…it’s all we have…the large deck we used to have in Minnesota is in our past…we enjoyed it for years…but down-sizing has it drawbacks…this is one of them…but the courtyard is beautiful and it is especially beautiful this time of year…Azaleas blooming, Petunias…so join us…will you…I promise I will not neglect my heritage and the “institution”…so, “Have a cup of coffee?”…I’ll push a button on the magic machine…and magic…coffee…

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Responses

  1. Sounds like a fine tradition! I never thought about it, but ‘decks’ are porches with an upper-class aspiration, aren’t they? 🙂

    • Aah, yes, a great tradition…I think things are different today…people are much more “scheduled” today…in those times when people “stopped in”…this was a destination and they had nothing planned to do beyond that…life today is so chocked full of stuff to do…simplify, simplify, I say…but easy to say, hard to do…thanks for the comment…just been to your site a few minutes ago…always a pleasure…always makes me think…and remember…

  2. I wasn’t going to say anything, but since you have brought it up…it would have been nice to have “a cup of coffee?” and try a couple of the varieties of cookies you currently have on hand for that very thing. But alas, it didn’t happen…but the company and conversation were enjoyable and stimulating as usual…so I guess “no blood, no foul”. I’m sure we will have another opportunity.

    Jared (the son who was overlooked the other day)

    • Drats…caught again…and yes, I have some very new and good cookies for you to try…but my Heritage and “the institution” of offering coffee is, without excuse…but next time…

      Dad

  3. Hi Jim,
    I agree that the tradition is country-wide. When I was young, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ houses. Whenever someone dropped by my Grandma Margie’s house (maternal grandma), she would always head to the kitchen (wearing her apron of course) and put a pot of water on the stove for coffee. And she always had donuts on hand for a “coffee klatch”. My Grandma Meyers (paternal grandma) would always put on a pot of water and then head for the pantry to pull out goodies to eat with the coffee. I really miss those days (and them). These days, it seems that everyone’s so busy that just sitting down with friends and neighbors is a rarity. You always bring up good memories for me. Thank you for that. It always brings a smile.
    Take care,
    Julie

    • Julie…I, too, think it is across the country…it seems something that makes sense too…and I agree people are too busy…and the custom of “just dropping in” is certainly out of vogue…now it is call and pick a date days from now…and see if it will “fit in”…it just doesn’t happen with lives so busy…”Drop over any time.”…nope, doesn’t happen…sometimes for good reason but many times not…but life is still better than the alternative…and we will just love every part of it…though different than before, but I will not miss the opportunity next time…”Have a cup of coffee?”…thanks for the comments…
      Jim E

  4. That’s how it was when I was growing up at least until I was fourteen. I can remember my mom, aunts, and their friends sitting around drinking coffee and talking. I guess with the internet age things have changed now instead of dropping by in person people skype. Thanks for the memories have a great weekend….

    Saun in Ohio

    • Hi Saun…Oh, I know change comes and goes…and I don’t wish for the past to come back…but there are things that all of us remember that were “good”…and that’s okay that we remember them with good thoughts…and heavens, if we didn’t have the internet….how would I have come across you and so many others…would have missed your pictures and all comes from that…would never “met” Matt and the “imjustwalkin” crew…so change is good too…but I, and no doubt you, will always enjoy the past and all the great times had by us and those around us…Jim E


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