Doin' It Halfway Since 1996

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus

Coffee by any other name would smell just as sweet.

My roommate in college had a coffee maker. She loved coffee. In fact, that was one of the first things I learned about her. She drank it at all hours. I’m pretty sure it pulsed through her veins. I couldn’t for the life of me understand how a person could love coffee like she did.

Fast forward a couple of years and I find myself married to a man who is addicted to coffee. Even more, he joined the Army. Not many people realize that the official drink of the US Army is coffee. Okay, it’s not really. But it might as well be.

My husband used to be a commander for a company of about 80-ish soldiers. He held this position for both Thanksgiving 2008 and Thanksgiving 2009. And each year, he’d offer up my cooking services to soldiers and their families who wanted/needed a place for dinner. Since we lived in Alaska, and many were far from home, they usually stayed in town for the Thanksgiving holiday.

For the last two years, we hosted anywhere from 30 to 40 people at our home. That’s a lot of soldiers.

Anyway, I tell you all this to illustrate how many people were at our house. After dinner, with dessert, we’d always fire up a pot of coffee. And another. And another. I think last year we made something like 5 pots of coffee after dinner (this is a 12-cup coffee maker, mind you). Granted, we were serving some of Alaska’s finest coffee, Kaladi Brothers. When Hubs saw how fast we were plowing through our good coffee, he broke out the Folgers. So anyway, soldiers love coffee.

In Anchorage, there are little coffee shacks on every corner AND almost just as many coffee shops in every strip mall. There was even a coffee shack on post. And a coffee stand at the military hospital. And a Starbucks and a Cinnabon (who sold Seattle’s Best) at the BX/PX Mall.

With all these strong influences in my life, how could I not like coffee? How could I not drink it? For many years, I successfully escaped the romanticism of coffee and coffee shops. Even when all my friends frequented Starbucks, I rarely did. And if I did, I purchased a cider or hot chocolate drink. I would have a cup of coffee with my dad on Christmas, because that was OUR thing. My dad was the only one in the family who drank coffee. I drank it on occasion. So, every Christmas morning, after mom pulled out the Pillsbury Cinnamon rolls (love my mom, but she can’t bake if her life depended on it), dad and I poured the coffee in our mugs, grabbed our cinnamon rolls, and settled down in our respective present-opening positions. And that was my coffee experience from ages 18 to 27.

Then something happened. I had a baby. And I resisted (though life might have been a little easier had I given in to coffee’s lure). Then I had another baby. And I held my ground. Then I had ANOTHER baby. And I relented. I gave in. I let coffee take me to places I had never gone before (mainly the place that gave me enough energy to do at least one housework task each day, as opposed to none).

Now coffee has me in its clutches. But I’m a snob. I only want the good stuff. I’m so much a snob, that I drove an hour and a half away to a coffee shop here in Ohio that uses and sells my beloved Kaladi Brothers coffee. I beg my friends from Alaska to mail it to me (and thankfully, they do). I drive 45 minutes about every two months to get the stuff we drink everyday. I’m that much of a snob and I’m that in love with the stuff.

Why do I love coffee? Let me count the ways:

1. It’s cheaper than booze.

2. It makes me happy, and by default, makes my kids happy.

3. Because I had a friend in Alaska who I loved, but didn’t always get to see. And coffee was our excuse to get together.

4. It’s just as good iced on a hot summer afternoon as it is steamy hot on a cool autumn morning.

5. My in-laws LOVE it and need it to survive. In order to score points (outside of my charming wit and exceptional good looks), I drink coffee to please them.

6. When I post about my love affair with coffee on facebook, all my friends comment back. Well most of them. At least those of them who love coffee as much as I do. Do I live for facebook comments? Not really. Okay, maybe a little.

7. There’s just something about holding that paper cup with a cardboard sleeve or the big mug that says, “Life is Short. Stay Awake” that makes me feel, I don’t know, grown up.

8. I stay up too late writing blog posts and have to get up early to take care of my kids. Need I say more?

9. I used to wonder what was so good about coffee that my high school History teacher didn’t mind having such bad breath. Now I know.

10. I enjoy being that lady who can answer “yes” to the question “Would you like a cup of coffee?” when I’m at someone’s home AND being that lady who can ask “Would you like a cup of coffee?” when other people visit mine.

I’ve fallen in love with the stuff. I don’t think I can give it up. I now feel an even stronger bond to my roommate (sort of. I haven’t called her in years. Maybe I should do that). I think that my relationship with my husband has gotten better (okay, that’s probably not because of the coffee). My kids love me more because mama’s happy in the mornings. And the afternoons. It’s my happy hour beverage. And my happy hour is only happy if it has caffeine. And lots of it.

This post is written in response to a prompt from this week’s Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out her blog, and sign up for her weekly email updates.

Mama's Losin' It


15 responses to “Coffee by any other name would smell just as sweet.

  1. stephanie November 18, 2010 at 12:43 am

    I have a HUGE box of coffee for you, btw, send me your address already! 🙂

  2. Holly L November 18, 2010 at 2:18 am

    As I sit here at 11:30 pm drinking my coffee, I am thoroughly enjoying your post. I should have at least one more before bed time. #2 on your list made my day!

    • Mama Bear Ping November 18, 2010 at 11:05 am

      Ahhhhhh, a woman after my own heart. I have been known to drink coffee at 11:30. I will be doing so a week from now, as I do my calisthenics to get ready for Midnight/wee hours of the morning shopping on Black Friday. 🙂

  3. Renee Ann November 18, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Great post! I didn’t drink coffee for years. My family (of coffee drinkers) would eye my cup of tea and say, “When are you going to become a grownup?” I finally learned to love coffee 6 years ago when I signed on for a special essay grading project. All we teachers would work from 5:30 until 10:30 at night–reading essays. After a full day of work, partially spent–reading essays. Needless to say, coffee became my best friend. Now I drink it every morning, like all the other grownups!

  4. Dominique @Dominique's Desk November 18, 2010 at 3:32 am

    I too wrote on this prompt this week. However I still do not like coffee.

  5. hisbell November 18, 2010 at 7:16 am

    Ha! Though I don’t share in your coffee passion… I did throughly enjoy reading your post. How amazing were the Thanksgivings at your home with all those soldiers. I can only imagine the lively conversations and stories out of their mouths! Great post!

    • Mama Bear Ping November 18, 2010 at 11:02 am

      Actually, soldiers aren’t that talkative. They like to watch football and play Rock Band. BUT it was so much fun. I love my family and missed them during the holidays when we couldn’t see them, but I did love being surrounded by my military family.

  6. Angel November 18, 2010 at 7:44 am

    Ok Ihave never heard of that brand of Coffee, I loathe Folger’s coffee but LOVE Maxwell house..

  7. Jennifer @ The Mommy Mambo November 18, 2010 at 11:45 am

    This was really a good story! I know what you mean about that FB comment thing. While I’ve never commented about it…I note that those who mention a Pumpkin Spice Latte’ seem to rouse a crowd!
    Maybe I’ll try a coffee comment today on my personal FB page??…

    I’m a coffee snob too, but it sounds like I need to try the K..Brothers stuff. Can it be ordered online? Cause Texas to Alaska is a long commute to add to my daily marathon!

  8. Dumb Mom November 18, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    I didn’t start drinking coffee until I had my third either. And now, stopping is SO not an option. Not if I want my husband to love me and my kids to live.

  9. Tonya November 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    Great reasons to drink coffee! 🙂 Thanks for posting on my blog. 🙂 I’m off to Starbucks for the BOGO ….

  10. mangiabella November 18, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Me and coffee have a special relationship for sure – years ago I used to drink 4 cups a day, then I went down to a cup a day, then a cup a week, then just on special occasions which lasted for 15 years….but after I had my 2nd child, coffee and I became BFFs – I only drink 1 cup a day, but oh how I love that cup….and I still have some on special occasions too, especially if we go out or get together with family, then I usually go for a cappuccino – I buy trader joe’s extra dark roast, cafe pajaro blend….so very smooth…..high grade indeed. but i keep a medium bodied breakfast blend for my husband, he’s a lightweight LOL

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