Would you like a cup of coffee?

In some ways, I was a late bloomer.  Coffee drinking is a good example.  My parents both drank coffee.  As a child, I was never interested in drinking it or even tasting it.  My parents never encouraged me to give it a try by offering me a cup with a lot of milk and a tablespoon or two of coffee.  But I loved hot tea.  Only my Nannie drank hot tea. She used Lipton tea bags–that was all.  She would pour hot water from the big whistling tea kettle over the bag and pull the bag up and down until the color of the tea pleased her.  Then she would put in a little bit of white sugar and a drop or two of canned milk.  It smelled wonderful to me and she encouraged me to like tea by giving me a little taste every time she made a cup.  I loved hot tea thanks to her.

When I became a grown-up, the no coffee drinking became more of an issue. For example in my Bible study group, I was the only tea drinker. Everyone else drank coffee.  So generally I just carried a tea bag with me and it was no problem.

Then I met JoAnn.  She was a great lady and taught me a number of things.  Her husband was a banker but a member of the Cattleman’s Association in our town. Really, almost every man was a member.  Either they had boys in 4-H or their father had farmed or they farmed.  JoAnn had the best recipes for everything.  She shared her pickled beets with me.  She played tennis with me.  She let my kids play in her creek.  Her poundcake was TO DIE FOR.

When she found that I didn’t drink coffee, she said–“You are an adult and you need to know how to drink coffee. I will teach you.”  I had no idea what she meant but the gleam in her eye make me agree with her.  Several days passed and I forgot what she said.  Life moves on-you know. One day right after lunch, she called and said to be at her house at 1:30. And she hung up. I arrived at her house and went in through the kitchen door.  She was taking a pound cake out of the oven.  It smelled marvelous! She sat me down at her kitchen table and cut me a slice.  Then she poured me a cup of coffee-black.  She said—Take a bite of cake, drink a sip of coffee.  Keep doing that until both the cake and coffee are gone.

And just like that, I became a coffee drinker! Over the years I have refined my coffee drinking a little.  I add a dab of creamer to mine and a little sugar. And I rarely start my day with coffee and hot pound cake!