On Coffee-and…


Years ago, I mentioned to my mother how expensive coffee cost in the Florida Keys, where my husband and I spend part of the winter season.  Mom loved her coffee and drank it throughout each day.  She asked, “How expensive?”  I said, “Almost twice what we pay up here!”

After that conversation, whenever she grocery shopped, she’d buy us a couple cans, keeping us regularly stocked with java.  It became a joke between my husband and me.  We’d get down to four or five cans and he’d say, “Better call your mom.  She’s slacking off.”

Looking back, most conversations with Mom were spoken over cups of coffee.  She never used a Mr. Coffee, and a Keurig completely confounded her.  She always said coffee tasted better from a stainless steel pot on top of the stove, even when (as she aged) she started forgetting the pots on the hot burner.  And I doubt anyone out there wouldn’t agree how sweet the sound and smell of coffee perking!

She was known for saying things like, “Sit down and have some coffee-and (coffee-and was always said as one word).  Or she’d call and say, “Put on the coffee.  We’re in the neighborhood.”  Then she’d get here and say, “Only have time for a half-cup (again, half-cup as one word).  I brought cheese Danish.”  And the whole time we’d be talking, she’d stir four teaspoons of sugar around and around in her milky mug.

And this morning, while scraping the bottom of a coffee can, I had a vivid vision of my mother.  Since her death, in my mind (my heart) she is always young and healthy and beautiful.  So, her young self says to me, “No one should have to pay that much for coffee.  These are for you.”  And she hands me a shopping bag overfull with cans of Folgers.

I so miss being loved that much..

Mom and E


On slamming phones…


Even I had to admit, finally, it was time for a cell phone upgrade. So, I said to the salesperson, “Show me a phone with a good camera, an alarm clock and a screen large enough that I can actually read the display.” Looking younger than my grandson, he said, “Okay, those are easy. Now, tell me what you want…phone-wise?” And then he went on to talk about personal hotspots and protection, backup assistance and family planning. I did not feel old when I woke up that morning, but was aging quickly.

The next evening found me on the couch, a bottle of wine in one hand and an inch-thick owner’s manual in the other. Beside me, my new smart-phone discharged a blast every few minutes and reminded me of an older brother, who thinks farting is funny.

Even with such stimulating reading, I managed to fall asleep and woke around 3am to get a glass of water. Lights flickered from various kitchen outlets where smart-phones and iPads whispered to each other, along with a camera battery and coffee maker. The eerie flickering blues and beeps brought to mind old horror flicks and scary tales told around campfires.

The story that frightened me more than any other, wouldn’t even make sense to kids today. Remember the one with the babysitter at the house with multiple phone lines and someone is trying to break in. So, she’s hiding upstairs with the children and the phone rings and she realizes the creep is in the house, using the downstairs’ phone to call her. These days, the babysitter’s terror would be lost in explanation, though she could have used a good solid rotary phone as a weapon.

And remember how the curly cord never stretched long enough to ensure no one else heard your end of the conversation. No one cares anymore if others are able to hear what they have to say. Once, while waiting at an airport, many of us listened to a middle-aged woman break off a relationship with someone who needed it explained as if he were a five year old. When she finally said “Goodbye!”, we all felt she was better off.

Though, what I wanted to write about is how satisfying it used to be to slam the phone down. You were angry! You’d had enough! Slam!! Ahhhh…felt good! Really good!

Recently, I was talking to my brother and he began pontificating about politics. Wouldn’t allow a word in. There I was, cell phone in hand and barely a click as I disconnected him, mid-rant. He probably continued for awhile longer, not even realizing he’d been cut off. It feels better writing about it, than it felt when it happened.

With what it costs monthly for these pocket-sized packages of smart, we should at least be able to experience the satisfaction of a cathartic phone slam-down! Someone should write an app for that!