My husband and I are enjoying our 20th year of marriage. In many ways, it feels like we were just married yesterday, but the way we know each other is a way that can only be acquired through decades of raising children, looking after one another, road trips, paying bills, watching the world change, and sharing countless pots of coffee.
We’ve settled into a nice routine in our lives. Each morning we get up in the wee hours, before even the sun has awakened. I go into the kitchen and get the coffee brewing. By the time it is ready to pour I hear his footfalls in the den as he joins me and gets out his trusty coffee cup – being a man of habit in all things he uses the same one each day. I open the cabinets and see which cup happens to strike my fancy and moments later we are walking into the den, he with his black coffee and me with my blonde, to sit and ruminate over what the day might hold for us.
This simple habit of ours has become a dedicated time for us to get our bearings, grow together, discuss our ideas and thoughts, and grow closer as we go from one season of life to another. We are like minded – because we take special time each day to know each other’s thoughts, hopes, goals, and dreams. We share the ebbs and flows of life with one another in a committed time each day that the world doesn’t interfere with.
And it makes our lives richer. And it blesses us and our family.
The funny thing is, when we got married, my husband wasn’t a coffee drinker but I have been drinking coffee since as early as I could remember.
See, when I was a little girl, I loved to spend the night with my grandparents. They ended each day just as they started it, sitting around the able with one another over a pot of coffee. Grandmama always made me a special cup of what we now call “milkfee”. She’d heat a coffee cup of milk, add a bit of sugar, and stir in just enough coffee to color it a bit. I proudly took my place at the table beside my grandaddy and joined in the conversation. The next morning, we started the day much the same way.
That was such a part of my life, that schedule of coming together at the beginning and end of each day, that I knew it was just the way that my life was set to go. So when I found out my husband thought he didn’t like coffee some decades ago, I convinced him to let me make him a cup, just to try. I made him that first cup similar to how my grandmother made mine, lots of warm milk, a generous dose of sugar, and just enough coffee to color it. Of course, he loved it, everyone does. I set about making that for him each day and after a week or so, gradually started cutting back on the milk to coffee ratio.
Twenty years, and a very successful coffee campaign later, he takes his black as night, without a single grain of sugar to be added.
At the end of our day, after the supper dishes have been cleared, my husband gets another pot going and he and I settle back down together, cups in hand, heading out to the back porch or sitting around the table, just the two of us, the sounds of our children in the background. Sometimes one or both of them will join us. Our older son, now a young man of eighteen years, pours himself a cup of black coffee and sits down In a very adult manner my mind hasn’t quite reconciled yet, but our youngest, a young lady of thirteen, she likes her milkfee much like her Mama used to.
This is our ritual, our tradition, our way- What reminds us to come together again.
This rat race of ours, the striving, the over scheduled life, the seeking, the “acquiring of stuff”, the pressure, the deadlines, it all forms a perfect storm of sorts in our lives to keep us from peace, from being aware of the things that matter most, from being present at the place we are needed the most, and the place we need the most.
When I say that word I don’t see a structure, I see what’s inside. My people, my life, my dreams and my hopes, this is where they all reside and for each of us who live here, this is our sanctuary, the warm soft place we come back to where we know we are loved, appreciated, and welcomed.
It’s the simple things that draw us here. The things that remind us to slow down and savor the important things in life. Sometimes we get caught up in seeking perfection in the things of the world. There, perfection isn’t easy and never truly achieved, but when we look to home, to the things that matter the most, we often find our heart’s idea of perfection was there all along. I encourage you to set aside a daily time to come together. You’ll soon find it is the most perfect part of your day.
This conversation has been graciously sponsored by Red Diamond Coffee, a family owned company based in Birmingham, Alabama.