Memories in a Coffee Pot

This small, forlorn coffee pot holds a barrel of memories for me.

My parents had a coffee ritual. Most days, unless my dad was out working in a far-off field, he would come in around 4 p.m. for coffee and a snack. It might be fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies, or warm whole wheat bread with butter and chokecherry jelly, “wonderberry” (wild berries similar to blueberries) pie, or vanilla ice cream smothered in fresh sliced peaches.

Mom placed a generous scoop of coffee grounds in the pot and poured boiling water on top, letting it “steep”, like tea. After a few minutes, she or Dad would blow into the spout to settle the grounds, and pour the strong, aromatic brew into their cups. Strangely enough, they never seemed to have to deal with grounds floating on top.

Even when we were working outside together in the heat of the summer, stacking bales, a thermos of coffee marked afternoon break-time in the shade of a growing hay stack.

An extra special occasion, Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary on Christmas Eve, began with that coffee. As the lavender shadows of dusk gathered, Mom would dress in her holiday outfit, bring out the Christmas goodies, and brew the coffee.

Although I didn’t like coffee and didn’t start drinking it until I was in my 30s, this “coffee time” was a hugely important part of my life, growing up on a ranch in eastern Montana. It wasn’t just a time to stave off hunger pangs until supper, it was a time of togetherness, an important family ritual.

Even after my mother died, my dad continued the afternoon coffee observance.

I am downsizing in anticipation of a move in the near future, and I had to make a painful decision to discard this coffee pot. But the memories will live on.

Published in: on September 5, 2012 at 6:00 am  Comments (10)  
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Christmas Fun

I want to take this opportunity to wish all my followers a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a happy and healthy New Year. I celebrate the birth of Christ and I am thankful for the many blessings I’ve received in my life.

Here are some photos from Christmases, present and past.

This year I did a book signing at the Country Store Farmer’s Co-op and had to have my picture taken with a “cool” Santa.

Every year a group of friends gets together to bake cookies, eat, and exchange our wares. This is a special tradition and special friends. It reminds me of our family tradition on the ranch of making sugar cookies and everyone sitting at the kitchen table to decorate them.

We don’t always have snow in the winter here in the Pacific Northwest, but when we do, I am reminded of Christmases in eastern Montana, being snowed in, playing board games, drinking cocoa and eating Christmas goodies. This photo was from winter 2006, when we did have snow for Christmas.

Our families are scattered hither and yon, so we don’t often have company for the holidays. This was from 2005, when Dave’s sister, Marylou, spent Christmas with us. A special holiday!

The Catmas Tree.

Jellicle Cat (Jelli) likes to nap on the tree skirt under the tree. Probably waiting to drink the milk left out for Santa!

One of my all-time favorite gifts!

However you celebrate the holiday, my best wishes to you!

Published in: on December 24, 2010 at 11:24 pm  Comments (4)  
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