Friday, December 5, 2008

The Joy of Coffee

Every family has that thing that they like to do together.

Some families hunt and fish. Some family raise and ride horses. Some families own successful businesses. Some families take their vacations together.

Not mine. We...drink coffee. It's the one thing that binds us all together. When we get together for holidays, we go through several urns, and each urn contains 30 cups. None of those little 8 oz. cups for us, we drink it out of 16 or 20 oz. styrofoam cups and although we always start with the best intentions of putting our names on the cups so we only use one each, we go through a whole package of cups in one day. The problem of styrofoam not breaking down in the landfills and taking up too much room can probably be directly traced back to my family parties.

Winter, spring, summer or fall...always coffee, always hot. If anyone drinks iced coffee in the summer, they hide that fact from the family at parties. Even if it's the dog days of summer, that urn is pumping out our molten, caffeinated goodness.

I recently heard a story about when my great uncle passed away in 1985. Two of my younger cousins were horsing around at the wake and one of the older cousins took them on a walk so they could calm down a bit. All three of them walked into a deli and when the counterperson asked what they wanted, they replied, in unison, "Ten coffees." Apparently, this counterperson nearly had a stroke and repeatedly asked, "Are you sure you want TEN coffees?" It seemed like a resonable request in my family, even considering that the 2 younger ones were only about 8 years old at the time.

Then there's the story of the family headed to a music festival in Philly. There were about 8 of them and about half were taking their own sweet ass time getting ready to go to breakfast. Then, it seems, my father had an A-HA moment. He took off to the car like his pants were on fire and returned with a thermos of coffee that was brewed the morning before. It had been stashed under the driver's seat and he poured it into the attached cup and promptly begain sipping. Uncle B caught him and said, "What, you holding out on me?" Dad shared with Uncle B while my poor mother gagged. If they had already eaten breakfast, Mom definitely would have tossed her cookies. She didn't view the day-old coffee as the hot commodity Uncle clearly believed it to be.

My cousin P, was ordering his own "extra milk coffee" at the deli counter at the age of 3. I took regularly scheduled coffee breaks with my grandmother after pre-school. My father once had an espresso and an espresso ice in one sitting at Ferrera's in NYC's Little Italy. And for the record, that was probably the only time he had trouble sleeping.

Yeah, we love coffee and are all addicted to it...but hey, it's legal, it's safer than crack and it brings us all to the table to laugh and reminisce every once in a while. How bad can that be?


Jaxie Fantastic said...

I love it when you write! :) With my family it's bitterness that unites us all, so I think your coffee is much better for familiy togetherness.

grits said...

I worship coffee!!

hey girl, I just found your blog -
have missed you!