Tag Archives: coffee

Good Morning (April A~Z Challenge)

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Good Morning! What a friendly phrase! Having worked as a waitress on the early – coffee-and-breakfast-serving – shift for more than twenty years, I’ve probably spoken it more than most.

“Good Morning,” I’d say, as I plunked down mugs of hot coffee in front of my regulars as soon as they came in the door. I knew the exceptions that wanted decaf or tea, instead. I knew who might order a little breakfast, after a couple cups of coffee. I knew who needed to get to work quickly, and who would sit for an hour or more. They were friends, sort of, though we only met over morning coffee, and mine was a position of servitude. They felt like family, all of us still groggy from sleep, making conversation in the early morning hours.

“Good Morning,” I’d say, as I put placemats, napkins and silverware around a table, and handed a menu to each person seated there.  I’d always keep an eye on the clock, as the ferry dock was just across the road and it’s schedule drove our business. I’d address the issue right away. Early, it would be, “You have plenty of time before the boat, and the kitchen is not too busy yet. I’ll take your order as soon as I can, so you’ll have time to relax before boarding.”

Later, my spiel would sound differently. “Good Morning! If you want breakfast, and are planning to catch that boat, you should give me your order right away. At this time, I’d suggest any eggs be scrambled; pancakes will slow the order down a lot, but the cinnamon french toast is fast and good.” There were always a few stragglers who came in at the very last minute, wanting whatever we could fix them quickly, and pack for take-out.

In our heydey at the Shamrock Bar and Restaurant (which no longer serves breakfast at all), in the height of the season, we’d serve fifty to one hundred breakfasts before the ferry left the dock. By that time, “Good Morning” had changed to “What a Morning” as we rushed to clean up after the breakfast rush, and prepare to serve lunch.

These days, my “Good Morning” is first directed at the dogs. It loses a little in interpretation. What they think it means is “Roll over, show me your belly, and I will give you one hundred belly rubs.” Actually, when I’m speaking to them, it kinda does.

Waking Up Slowly

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Usually, I wake up fast.

I have to.

After hitting the “snooze” button several times (which gives me, each time, an unsatisfying extra five minutes of rest), i have to rush out of bed. I drink a big glass of water with a couple small pills, while coffee is brewing. I slip into shoes and take the little dog for a quick stroll around the yard, in whatever combination of sleep clothes I am wearing. I check my Email over my first cup of coffee. I pour a second cup, fill the thermos and sometimes pack a lunch for work, crush the dog’s medicine onto a tablespoon of soft food in her tiny dish (which makes her start anticipating my departure), shower, dress, put the dog’s dish down (“Take good care of things, Rosa Parks,” I tell her) grab up purse, thermos and lunch bag, and head out the door.

Still, I’m always late.

When Denni used to write up the schedule, she’d add “ish” to whatever time I was supposed to be at work. God, I loved her for that! When scheduled for eight-ish, being on time is easy! Now, it states an unwavering eight o’clock…and I almost never make it.

I get right to work, though, when I get there, and that continues through the long day. Yesterday, after my work day at the hardware store, I went to my aunt’s house to get the upstairs ready for company, and do the rugs and floors. I came home and – after walking the dog and making dinner – worked at the computer until ten.

This day, though, is my day off.

No alarm clock! The sun coming through the window roused the little dog this morning, and she roused me. Ear scratches, belly rubs and cuddles for Rosa Parks, then I lay there, with the sun streaming in, to plan my day.

It will be a full day. I have household chores and baking to do. I have to get to the grocery store and the bank. I have writing and editing and at least one interview on the agenda. I will meet the boat this afternoon, as my friend Donna is arriving for a visit. She and I plan to fit lots of walking, reminiscing and catching up into the next couple days. I have a seven PM meeting to attend.

We’ve had a nice little walk, the dog and I, and I just poured my third cup of coffee.

Today, I’m waking up SLOWLY.

Daylight Savings Time Changeover Day Blues

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Good Morning!

It’s not really morning anymore.

I’ve already been outside walking in the woods with my dogs today.

I’ve had my morning coffee.

I’ve returned three telephone calls from messages left on my answering machine.

I’m watching the clock, counting time before I have to get ready to go to work.

Today was the day I could set the clocks back, for Daylight Savings Time.

One extra hour!

I saved the act of re-setting clocks for morning, so it would seem like a bonus.

One extra hour to drink coffee or write or read or lounge in a bubble bath!

One extra hour to catch up on the dozens of tasks there are not time for in a normal day!

One extra hour of golden time!

I slept through it.

Simple as that, I slept through it.

For years, I teased my friend, Diane, about her tardiness. She was late for everything, to the extreme. She is famous for it, still, here on Beaver Island. Everyone has a “Diane was so late…” story. She always said she’d be late for her own funeral. In fact, for that, she was too early, in my mind.

In the last several years, I found myself developing Diane’s habit myself, of being less than punctual. I was getting pretty lackadaisical about it, too. After all, we live on an island where bumper stickers say, “Slow Down…this ain’t the Mainland!” and “There is no LATE on Beaver Island!”. We talk about the slower pace and more relaxed schedules of “island time”. Then, my aunt gave me a pretty stern lecture about the inconsideration of tardiness. I took it to heart. I set my clocks ahead.

I allow myself to be fooled by whatever the clock says.

Enforced gullibility.

It helps that each clock says something different, so I’m not sure which one to trust.

So, this morning, I started the coffee brewing, and went room to room.

The little, old-fashioned dial clock in the bathroom, back one hour. Still twenty minutes fast, so I won’t linger too long in the bathtub, or take too much time tweezing things or trying to do something creative with my hair.

The digital clock in the CD player on the bookshelf in the living room, back one hour, still ten minutes fast.

The small, battery-operated alarm clock in the bedroom, back one hour, twenty-five minutes fast. To allow for me to hit the “snooze” button at least twice, and still be pleasantly surprised by the earliness of the hour when I make it to the next clock.

The large, schoolhouse clock in the kitchen, back one hour, fifteen minutes fast. This clock loses time pretty regularly, so I have to keep my eye on it. Sometimes I set it a little extra-fast, to compensate.

The little clock on the oven and the watch I wear on my wrist, I set back one hour to the correct time. I need to be, at some point, in touch with real time. I can’t actually read either of these dials without my glasses.

By that time, the coffee was finished.

I poured a cup.

Last week, I took a phone call from a friend before my coffee had finished brewing. We ended up in a discussion that had no business happening, and that left us both feeling bitter.

Now, I don’t answer the phone until I’m ready to talk.

I usually sit at the computer checking my e-mail account while drinking my first cup of coffee. The dogs can go out at this time, but they can’t go in and out, in and out, and they can’t beg for treats, or bother me for their morning walk.

I have enjoyed thinking that they understand when I say, “First cup of coffee!”

Turns out, they don’t.

It turns out, my dogs cannot tell time, either, and don’t care one bit about Daylight Savings Time.

No matter how diligently I set every clock back one hour, when I overslept this morning, I got up just in time for their walk, and they weren’t about to have it any other way.

Now, my bonus hour is gone.

Bill

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Flying from Orlando to Lansing last Saturday evening, I pulled a book out of my bag. The Red Book, by Sera Beak,  is subtitled “A Deliciously Unorthodox Approach to Igniting Your Divine Spark”. I’d been working my way through it, and packed it in case I ran out of other reading material. I hadn’t had a chance to pick it up before that. The chapter I was reading was talking about signs and symbols and messages from the universe and paying attention. The card I’d used to mark my spot was an invitation…to my friend Bill’s eightieth birthday celebration. Because of that, Bill was on my mind throughout the plane ride. When I arrived home on Sunday, I learned that Bill had passed away the day before…on Saturday…when I had his invitation in hand…when I was thinking about him…while I was reading about messages from the universe…

Bill and I have been friends for more than 25 years. We used to have coffee together nearly every day. A natural story-teller and a wonderful teacher, he has helped me with dozens of projects and taught me a million things. I am saddened by his death, and will miss him always. We definitely had a connection.

I know that if Bill heard my story of the coincidences of the plane ride and the book and the invitation, he would throw his head back and laugh out loud. He’d say “That’s about the biggest line of bull I’ve ever heard!”

And that thought makes me smile today.