I opened it on my 30th birthday. A gift from my grandparents, so wonderful it brought me to tears. An antique coffee grinder, in pristine condition, passed from my great-grandmother, to my grandfather, and now to me.
I had spent an evening at their house a few weeks prior to my birthday. Grandma and I poured over her tried and true recipes, while Grandpa shared stories and old photos. Like water to quench deep thirst, our time together quenched my soul’s desire to hear family history. Stories. Lots of stories.
That’s when I saw it…the antique coffee grinder atop their kitchen cabinet. How had I never noticed before? As Grandpa retold stories of grinding his mother’s coffee each morning in that very grinder, I couldn’t help but want to know more. Curious by nature, I wanted to know everything about it…how old was it? Was it handmade? What kind of coffee did Great Grandma like? Was it hard to grind the beans? I began to wish that this coffee grinder could speak, telling stories of days past.
You can imagine my great surprise when I opened my birthday gift several weeks later…Grandpa had decided that he’d like for me to have the coffee grinder. Humbled and grateful for the gift, I began to realize that this gift plays into a story that I hold near and dear.
You see, I have this God-given bent toward nostalgia. A way of finding a story or a lesson in the simplest of things. Some might call it silly, or even passé, but I have learned much from my daily cup of coffee. And this gift from Grandpa? It has been a great teacher in my classroom of life and coffee.
And so, if I could bend your ear for a few moments, I’d like to tell you my story. Coffee’s story. Our story together. Why a cup of coffee to me is actually a lot more than just a cup of coffee.
Once upon a time there was a young girl who, desiring to act like a grown-up, forced herself to drink coffee. She hated the taste but loved the idea, and over time she began to look forward to a cup ‘o joe.
Across the land, in a small town, lived a young man who longed to spend time with the young girl. Upon hearing that she liked coffee, the young man forced himself to acquire a taste for the black liquid.
As fate would have it, the young girl and the young boy began to frequent coffee shops. As they sampled the various types of coffee, their love for one another grew. Coffee shops across the land could tell stories of the conversations had between the boy and girl.
Several years passed, and the boy and girl were happily married. Coffee shops were still frequented, and they enjoyed many cups of coffee in their new kitchen, decorated to resemble the coffee shop where they’d first fallen in love. During a particularly stressful and sleepless time, the young boy brought a cup of coffee to the young girl each and every morning. They often ended their evening meal with a steaming cup of decaf while they shared their hopes and dreams with one another.
Several years into their marriage, the boy and girl enjoyed opening their home to guests, savoring the conversations and friendships that grew across the table, mugs of steaming coffee in hand. Those cups of coffee began, over time, to tell stories. Stories of family. Friendship. Love. Devotion.
And still today, the boy and girl continue to drink in the goodness that their cups of coffee provide. They’ve learned that the act of sharing something simple, yet special, opens doorways to meaningful conversation. Countless cups of coffee have facilitated relationship-strengthening conversations, both between the boy and girl, as well as their loved ones.
The boy and girl will continue to share their coffee, as well as their home. They hope and pray that others, both friends and family, will see God’s love shine through them as they share something so simple. That for this generation, and many to come, their loved ones will re-tell the stories and lessons learned over their cups of coffee. That they’ll never forget God’s faithfulness and goodness.
Grandpa and Grandma, if you’re reading this, I hope it gives you a slight glimpse into how very much your birthday gift means to me. I treasure it now, and will certainly treasure it forever.
And to you, my dear readers, maybe this post is silly. Maybe it’s trite. Or, maybe it’s true and meaningful in the simplest of forms. Maybe more joy can be found in the daily mundane. Maybe you’ll look at your cup of coffee differently tomorrow. Or maybe you’ll decide to join me for a cup ‘o joe? My front door is always open, the coffee cupboard is always stocked, and the coffee pot is just the push of a button away from some great conversation. Or, if coffee just isn’t your thing, there’s always other options. Although, I will most likely try to convert you to coffee drinking. After all, have you ever tried a homemade latte!?!?
Whatever your choice, my home is always open.
And you are always welcome. ALWAYS!