How do you take your coffee? I like mine hot and strong with one Sweet’n’Low and enough creamer to turn it somewhere between tan and beige.
When I was a little girl, the most grown-up thing I could imagine was drinking a cup of coffee. I would watch in fascination as my father sipped the steaming brew, the spoon still inside the thick white restaurant-ware mug.
I drank my first cup of coffee at the Howard Johnson’s at Wellington Circle in Medford, Ma, when I was sixteen years old. It was a Friday evening, and the crowd I was with was older, and they all ordered coffee. I thought to myself, “I can do that,” and I did. From then on I was a confirmed coffee drinker.
In those days, when neither coffee nor relationships were instant, a familiar opening gambit would be, “Would you like to go for a cup of coffee?” After the movies or the dance you might go for a late-night snack and a cup of coffee.
There have been memorable cups of coffee in my life. One I drank at dawn at the Jersey shore. A friend and I drove to the beach with our kids and donuts and thermoses of coffee in time to see the sun rise. The beach was, of course, deserted. The air was slightly chilly, and we held our cups with both hands as we watched the day begin.
One I drank sitting in a hospital bed in Waukesha, Wisconsin. Less than an hour before I had given birth to my daughter, my third child. It was too early to call anyone with the news, so I relaxed with my cup of coffee and pictured how she would look as she grew up.
The most appreciated cup I ever drank was when I returned home from three weeks in Israel. There they served only instant coffee, or, sometimes what they called filter coffee. When I got home I headed straight for my coffee maker and made three cups of coffee which I downed one after the other.
I don’t know if coffee with me is an addiction, but it surely is a satisfaction.
© Dorothy C. Judd
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