Chasing the Sunset

I’ve started my morning over twice so far.

The taste of my coffee wasn’t pleasing, so I made a Chemex. I hadn’t made one in so long, it didn’t drain completely, but this is how I felt regardless.

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Photo by Devin Avery on Unsplash

Did it not drain, or did I not give it time?

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This morning I recalled teaching my daughter to drive. It was a scary experience. Not teaching her to drive, but that she was learning with my truck!

When it was time for her to learn, it was time for us to move. We were living in the country on 40 acres, and the road to our house was treacherous to say the least. It had sharp curves and made of dirt.

The next house we found had straight highway running to it. The first time she went 65 mph she exclaimed, “This is exhilarating!”

I sat in the passenger seat, drinking in the excitement on her face. You want that look to last, but soon after she learned to drive she began adulting. Then you hope they remember the moments which caused that look.

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One time we were driving home, and she turned off the main road. It was late in the day and the Texas sky was pink and gold. Her favorite time of day. I didn’t know where she was taking us, as she turned down one road, and then the next.

She parked the truck and stared straight ahead. She had run out of road trying to get close to the sunset.

She said, “I was chasing the sunset.”

We sat in silence watching the sun go down.

Chasing that sunset was exhilarating for her, even though it was out of reach. I was happy she tried without worrying what the end result may be.

I hope you never stop chasing the sunset.

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Photo by Sapan Patel on Unsplash

Stop Feeling Guilty

Yesterday, I slept for a solid 15 hours.

When I fell asleep it was daylight, and when I awoke it was daylight. There are no regrets.

My body was tired, and today it feels more human.

When deciding what to wear for the day, I chose a t-shirt that says, “100% Human”, on the little front pocket, just as a mental note of what I need to be.

I yearned for simple pleasures today. I wanted to wash my clothes in perfume, but my bottle of Nu Wash was empty. The hardware store I went.

Being away from home for several days, there was not much food in the house, but I opted for the grocery store next to the hardware store. Simply stocked with less distractions and minimal driving.

My initial thought was the frozen organic food section for something to pop in the oven. Something pre-made, but I don’t do a lot of pre-made food. If it has more than 5 ingredients listed, I need to recognize every ingredient. I’m just weird that way.

As an example, I bought some pasta, and saw a container of Alfredo sauce. It was a good brand, but had chemicals listed. Butter, flour, cream and Parmesan equal cream sauce, and I had everything at home but the cream, so I bought some cream.

Standing in the checkout of the store, there was a conversation going on between cashier and customer. The customer was buying a reusable K-Cup. She was telling the cashier it would save her money on coffee. The cashier told her a bag of coffee would last him a year. I was having trouble comprehending this conversation, and felt guilty.

Save money on coffee? Out of all the things you can save money on you’re going to choose coffee?

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Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

It would probably shock you to know how much I spend on a bag of coffee, but seeing the picture above become reality at a moments notice is priceless. I don’t own a TV, or have a cable bill.

I’d rather have good coffee, and perfumed clothes.

Love me, love my coffee, or in the least don’t object.

Stop feeling guilty for living a life worth living.

Wear A Cape

It was cool in the house this morning, so I reached over and grabbed my cape. When it was time to manage a Chemex of coffee, I tied the cape around my neck. It’s draped around my shoulders as I type.

Between living in Texas, and going through Chemo, I get chilled easily. If it’s below 60 degrees, I’m cold.

I read once, when you feel a need for comfort, wrap something around your shoulders. All of the shows that have an ambulance in the scene, have the injured person sitting at the back of it wrapped in a blanket. The EMT’s know this secret.

My cape is actually a lightweight blanket.

It comes in it’s own pouch, so my cape travels well. I take it to the grocery store, and movie theater. Anywhere I might get chilled, my cape comes along.

The brand name is ‘Caffeinated Sloth’. You know my love fest over coffee, and the Sloth is a most intriguing animal, so imaging a Sloth on Caffeine makes me smile. I happened upon this blanket in a local coffee shop, and became friends with the owner.

She is a delightful soul, and you can purchase your own cape here. I bought the Retro Paisley for $20.

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I bought this for Mother’s Day.

Today, I don’t feel a need to change the world, but I do want to make a difference. I love how this sign reads, ‘nice tiara’, as if there are some ugly ones laying around. On second thought, a nice tiara might be a marvelous addition while I wear a cape.

To Be Inspired

To get in the habit of writing again. Taking time off becomes easier, and soon, you find yourself not writing. In speaking with a friend this morning she said, “Write about coffee!”

My daughter returned from Boston with a brown bag of goodness. Out of all the things she could have brought, she knows my heart. It was a bag of Blue Bottle coffee beans.

The way I view coffee has evolved over time. What used to be my morning ‘wake me up’, is now a magical moment.

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The coffee bloom and a Chemex.

My relationship with coffee became quite serious this year.

Visit local coffee houses, (not franchises), or the coffee booth at a Farmers Market, and ask questions like…

Where do your beans come from? When were they roasted?

When you purchase whole bean, check the bottom of the bag. It should have a roasted date stamped on it. Beans stay fresh for two weeks before they start losing their freshness. Only grind the amount you are going to use.

I used to made my coffee at night, and set the machine to brew automatically for the next morning. Stumbling out of bed, after the beep was the start of my day. I didn’t realize what the machine was doing for me is actually a magical moment. Moments aren’t timed or automatic.

Moments are deliberately made in the present moment.

I placed the coffee maker on a shelf to give away, and pulled out a french press. That is how I made my coffee each morning, but eventually I knew there was more to learn. My daughter taught me the magic of a pour over. It took time to get it just right, but what a challenge to learn!

When my daughter brought home Blue Bottle, I graduated to the Chemex. This has been the most challenging, yet rewarding of all! I don’t have it mastered, but I keep trying.

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The Chemex.

My daughter has the Chemex down to a science, and an amazing cup of coffee is a science. A Burr type grinder crushes each bean, instead of emulsifying them with a blade, so they are uniform. You can weigh the grinds, (my daughter would), but I don’t go that far. Even after using a French Press, Blue Bottle taught me how to improve. To time the steep for 4 minutes, and no more. Then press the brew, and how much resistance the press should have.

In the heat of the summer, cold brew is refreshing in the afternoon, so today I ordered a bottle to make it myself.

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Hario Cold Brew Bottle by Blue Bottle.

There is always something to improve upon. I went from having ‘just coffee’, to altering my morning routine for this moment. Now when I awake, I drink a bottle of water to give my body time to wake up. The Chemex is complex, and it’s early, so I wait for my daughter to appear. She makes a Chemex, but if she’s not here, I do a pour over, or French Press, and practice with the Chemex after I’m fully awake.

My friend asked me this morning, “What inspires you?” Well my friend, you do, along with a really good cup of coffee.