Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day Twelve: Thankful for Coffee!!


I know it seems weird to be writing a thankful post about something as simple as coffee.  But, in all honesty, I'm surprised that I haven't written this post sooner.  Or that I didn't title the post "Everyone I Know is Thankful I Have Coffee".  That would be a more appropriate title.

Coffee is a very important part of my life.  It's the first thing I go to when I jump out of the shower each morning.  It's the first thing I go to when I get to work.  It's the first thing I go to when I get home from work on a chilly evening.  Also, every child (and adult) in this house will tell you that it's not wise to speak to me or even make eye contact with me until I've at least prepared my first cup of coffee each morning.

Yes.  In my mind, there's nothing more relaxing, soothing, or calming than a nice, hot cup of coffee.

My love of coffee has a pretty solid history.  I've been drinking the stuff my entire life...yes, even as a child.  I remember thinking it was just the coolest thing ever to be allowed a cup of coffee when I stayed with my grandparents as a child, or on the rare occasion my parents would allow me to have a cup.  Even though, back then, I had to have several teaspoons of sugar to take away the disgusting bitter flavor I thought coffee had back then.  It was and still is a tradition that on Christmas morning, no presents are to be unwrapped until the first cup of coffee has been downed....and on Christmas morning, it's special coffee made with hot milk rather than water.  My kids don't understand the whole thing, and they have never gotten excited about getting a cup of coffee.  They'd much rather have hot chocolate or milk...and will pass on the offer of coffee.  

Of course, now I don't think coffee has a disgusting bitter taste, and I have no sugar in my coffee anymore.  Occasionally I'll treat myself to a flavored coffee creamer, but only in the evenings...and usually that's only in the winter.  I don't really care too much for coffee in the evenings during the summer.

Coffee also has a strong connection to my memories of the teachers that inspired me to become a teacher.  One of my first teacher's classroom smelled like coffee.  She always smelled like coffee.  She always had a cup of coffee in her hand each morning.  Even though her face has become somewhat fuzzy to me over the years, I can still see that purply pink coffee mug she held in her hand each morning clear as crystal.  And, I remember making the connection with that coffee...thinking to myself at the ripe old age of about 5 or 6 that when I grew up and became a teacher, how wonderful it would be to have a cup of coffee in my hand each morning when I greeted my own students.

Back then, I thought of coffee as a teacher's staple.  Thinking back to all of my favorite teachers (and there were a lot of them) they always had a cup of coffee in their hand at some point of the day.  Even though every adult I knew drank coffee, it was somehow more special in the hands of one of my teachers.

I actually remember the times I would play school alone in my bedroom, teaching all of my dolls and stuffed animals the stuff I had learned in school that day, included me walking around with a cup from one of my teasets full to the brim with imaginary coffee.  It just didn't seem authentic to recreate a classroom in my bedroom without that important cup of fake coffee in my hand.

And, I was able to bring that dream to life... yet, now I know why all those teachers always had a cup of coffee in their hands.  It wasn't a special "teacher" thing, it was just their way of waking themselves up and preparing themselves for a day of teaching 20+ kids without pulling their hair out.  

One of the first things I bought for myself when getting my teaching job was a fancy zebra striped coffee mug.  It would be THE cup that held my cup of coffee each morning.  Something my kids would connect to me.  Yet, after a few weeks of realizing how dangerous it was to leave a cup of hot coffee laying around in an open mug, and how quickly that hot cup of coffee became freezing cold from setting it down for a few minutes, made me quickly switch to a insulated coffee cup with a lid.  It's not pretty.  It's not "teacher like".  But, it keeps my coffee hot for much longer, and I can set it down on my desk without worry that someone (probably me) will knock it over and burn someone.

I chose today to discuss my thankfulness towards coffee because we're getting a major cold front moving in to the area.  Yesterday, the weather was beautiful and stayed in the mid 60s.  Even when I left school last night, around 6:30PM, I didn't need a jacket because it was so mild outside.  This morning, I woke up to it being right around the freezing mark...and it's supposed to continue getting colder for a couple more hours.  In fact, the wind chill is supposed to be in the teens by the time I get to work.  The high for today will barely make it over the freezing mark.  

Of course, I'm not complaining.  Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE the cold weather.  There's just something about it that tells me the holidays are coming...my favorite season is on it's way in.  Cold weather means fuzzy pajamas, snuggling up with a blanket, and a hot cup of coffee in my hands.  That's my idea of relaxation perfection.  Of course, I can't do that at work... but it's something I look forward to all day long for when I go home.  

And now my coffee cup is empty, signaling my time to start getting ready for work.  Being that it's so cold, I may have to prepare another cup for the road.

Everyone have a wonderful Tuesday!!


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