O L D H A B I T S D I E H A R D. It took a while but I finally switched to a Chemex. Sure, it's healthier but with that realization comes another:
Old habits die hard... I love my stainless steel percolator. the way it carried on yearrrrs of a family tradition: My Mother's Coffee.
My mother's coffee was The Source for our every day. She could not begin a day without her coffee. Neither could we. Her cups were tattooed with red lip stick, always bright and still there after a heavy wash cycle and left there on the counter before a dash to school because one of us missed the bus.
On weekends my father made the coffee, brought it upstairs. A tray, ironed linen, pretty bone China cup and saucer, a side dish of sugar... In bed she read The New Yorker and The New York Times, cover to cover, for as long as she possibly could. cutting out articles, folding them up, squeezing them into an envelope to mail to her kids. We would hear her laugh and it was easy to imagine the page ripping around a New Yorker cartoon about to be pinned to the fridge. It kept them laughing. At the mundane beauty of their marriage, its difficulties and joys.
Later when she could no longer keep up with her reading, my father still brought her coffee. Up stairs, on a tray, ironed linen, pretty bone China cup and saucer, a side dish of sugar as the back issues piled up in her study, alongside all the other things to which she had attached notes. To remind her. To never forget. And yet she did.
Coffee is like that. It just permeated our family, our habits, the way the percolator sent its aromatic plumes down the hall and up the stairs, throughout the house, part of the patterns, the rituals, private moments and shared mornings. Coffee is the smell of decades lost, long ago, yet forever near, always present, just plumes and dust.
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