One morning a couple of weeks ago before the start of school, my youngest daughter and I were running errands and enjoying the hot, steamy Texas weather ( a little sarcasm there) when she says to me, “Mom, let’s stop and get some donuts to enjoy with our coffee while we talk”
Our coffee? No, I am the coffee drinker, but I just laugh and say okay because why not (?) and she’s cute.
We grab our donuts – chocolate frosted for me, cherry frosted for her – and head home to make coffee, then sit out on the patio for a lazy morning of conversation and inevitable silliness.
I fix my coffee just the way I like it with 2 packs raw sugar and just a touch of cream, while my girl has her cup of mostly milk with just a touch of decaf coffee and sugar. She adjusts it to suit her taste.
We sit. We sigh. We DEVOUR our donuts. Then we talk about what she’s looking forward to in third grade. Again, I sip my coffee and she sips hers. The conversation turns to maybe going on vacation over the holidays and the (very remote) possibility of getting a puppy.
We sip some more while enjoying the comfortable silence and it is in that silence that I was transported back to a scene very familiar, yet unfamiliar in the kitchen of the house where I lived as a little girl. A very small kitchen with a 50’s style Formica table in the corner and the smell of fresh roasted coffee brewing. No older than 5, I am there with my mother and two of her sisters.
My aunts would come over for coffee every Saturday morning and just the thought of it makes me smile.
Daddy worked third shift and he would stop by the bakery on his way home in the morning to bring cinnamon/sugar donuts as a weekly treat. They were the best donuts ever or at least that’s the way I remember it. Still warm, firm on the outside, soft and fluffy inside with the perfect ratio of cinnamon to sugar.
My aunts and my mother gathered there over coffee and donuts to discuss neighborhood goings on and what not. I think one might call it gossiping and one would probably be correct, but what I really remember and loved was the feeling in the room. There I’d sit with my …you guessed it…cup of milk with a splash of coffee, just one of the ladies listening and taking it all in.
There was a lot of laughter, even giggling from these grown women.
“What you say?”
“Girl, you are a mess!”
“Humph! Don’t start no mess, won’t be no mess.”
Every once in a while I’d throw in a well-placed “Mercy me,” just to remind them that I was part of the group.
They were funny, bold, smart and very real. That kitchen was warm with love and full of life. This was long before smart phones distracted us during conversations and thoughts could be conveyed through 140 word texts. You didn’t need emojis to decipher the intended emotion conveyed in your words and you received the satisfaction of real human interaction. My 5 – year – old heart was full every Saturday morning and my mother and aunts colored my world with their vibrant personalities. Quite often they would break into song, usually gospel, and I sang right along with them. I had no idea how perfect my life really was in those moments.
I sat there reminiscing for what seemed like a long time, but it was really only a few minutes.
“Mom, what are you thinking about?” she asks, bringing me back to my patio, the heat and our donuts with coffee. I tell her about my Saturday morning donuts and coffee clutch with my mom and aunts. When I get to the part about the donuts being a weekly treat she looks at me with sad eyes and asks, “Were you poor?” because we only got treats on Saturday mornings.
I look right back and said “No, you’re spoiled.”
“Does thinking about that make your happy?”
“Hhhmmm, why do you ask?”
“Because you’re smiling.”
“Yes, it is a very happy memory and I guess you could say that’s where my love of coffee really started.”
I take another sip as she gets up from her seat.
“Uh, Mom, coffee is gross! I never want to drink this again, but we can still hang out and eat donuts.”
With that, she’s off to get her iPad for Minecraft.