Before I go to bed every night, it is my job to prepare the coffee pot for the morning.  Wilma and I so much love to get out of bed and not have to wait for the coffee to brew, so this final evening chore has its rewards as soon as I get up in the morning.


I usually wake up first, usually just as the coffee pot is firing up.  I don’t know if I wake up naturally or if the subtle sounds coming from the kitchen arouse me.  Nonetheless, I get dressed and head to the kitchen, pouring a cup even before the brewing cycle is done.


I go to the living room, turn on the TV or the radio, put the coffee on a coaster on the end table, grab the computer, and get to it.  A sip of coffee, a click on Facebook, more coffee, check out the online newspapers – nice way to start the morning, don’t you think?


My coffee introduction started in my childhood.  My grandmother lived just two houses away, so I was over there often, sitting in her kitchen and visiting over a cup of coffee – well, coffee for her, milk for me, but it was in a coffee cup… to go with the coffee, grandma also kept a stock of those cookies shaped like windmills.  (Sadly, I still find them in the grocery store, but they’re about half the size of those that grandma served.)


Later on, I graduated to real coffee at a more likely age – and laced my coffee with milk and sugar.  Then along came college, and I earned my graduate degree in coffee consumption by going strictly black – and that’s where I am today.


In those college years found me up late at night sometimes.  My uncle Dan would be up for a visit, and we would stay up late into the night, sitting around the kitchen table and thoroughly discussing the issues of the day, global and personal.  He was a teacher, and I was studying education in college, so we had a good deal in common there – and we both felt so strongly about so many things that it was no surprise at all that we could spend those night owl hours time and time again.


Little did I know that I would be using those coffee skills once I became a teacher.  I spent many sessions of coffee sipping in the teachers’ lounge at my school – and when you spend 34 years in the same school, that’s a great many hours.  Conversations over coffee were a natural habit there.  In fact, every Friday was ‘Rolls Day” – and if you missed your turn at buying rolls, you were on the blacklist for quite a while, which would precipitate pranks upon the sad, forgetful soul.  I even wrote a poem as a tribute to my buddies who sat with me as we drank our coffee.  You ask about the quality of that coffee, by the way?  I can guarantee you it ranged from steaming hot fresh to practically aged or fermented as closely as any substance can be and still resemble coffee.


I’ve been through any number of coffee makers.  There’s mom’s Harvest Green percolator, and my hot pot in college, and an ordinary stove top pot, and then a slew of drip makers of all brands, including the Mr.Coffee that everybody had to use at one time or another.  Brands included Hills Brothers and Folgers and Arco and Butternut and whatever else we could find.


The best coffee Wilma and I have found was on our retirement trip to New England in September of 2010.  We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast in Vermont for three nights, enjoying a gourmet breakfast each morning.  The meals were great, and the coffee was just as tasty – the brand is GREEN MOUNTAIN Coffee.  Needless to say, we found it quite necessary to bring home several bags of that fine brew – and when we run out, we call our daughter who still lives in upper New York and place our order for more, which she faithfully delivers.


I know there are millions out there who share the same lust for a good cup of coffee.  Long may we continue to enjoy such fine drink.