I have developed this habit, a very pleasant and satisfying habit! After splashing water on my face and shaving soon after abandoning the warm confines of our bedding, I head to the kitchen. There, on the counter to greet me each morning, is my little friend – a shiny, bright red Keurig one-cup coffee maker. And I am so happy to see it each morning as I walk around the corner and into the kitchen! I DO like my coffee, especially in the morning, and I look forward to this little ritual every day. My little red friend uses the so-called K-cups which apparently Keurig developed some time ago. I carefully pour just the right amount of bottled water into the reservoir on top, plop-in a Peets “Major Dickason’s Blend” K-cup, close the latch and press the start button. My final responsibility in the whole affair is to remember to place a suitably sized cup under the machine’s spigot. Almost immediately, my little red friend begins to churn, boil, and fart before finally emitting a steady stream of dark, Dickason brew.
Now, I fetch one of my favorite Trader Joes muffins and put it on a plate, and I’m out the front door to fetch the morning papers. The news will wait for a while to be read because I, my freshly brewed coffee, and requisite muffin are heading to my den and the computer. By the time I finish checking E-mails, the status of my latest blog post, and the frenzy of Facebook, the coffee and the muffin are already experiencing my digestive process, and it is time to move on to breakfast and the news.
What funny creatures we are, that a little ritual like that can prove so satisfying. Perhaps I should speak for myself …but, no! Some, among our family and friends, are in the daily habit of convening prior to the evening dinner for group-time, some conversation, and a cocktail or glass of wine. Someone once told me that the pleasure involved has more to do with enjoyment of the ritual itself as opposed to the minimal alcohol consumed. Yes, I can understand that! I guess I am not alone in my appreciation of the mini-ritual as something one can count on and look forward to in the course of these busy, unpredictable, and oft-interrupted days.
It all started at Christmas, 2013, when my wife, Linda, caught me by complete surprise with the gift of my nifty red Keurig. Normally, on special occasions, I drop plenty of gift-hints (usually books), and so surprises are minimal. But this little coffee brewer came out of the blue – and what a nice surprise it was!
Coffee and “Real Engineers”
Before retiring as an electrical engineer fourteen years ago, I was always pretty much the “coffee king” in my engineering department, rarely without a paper cup in my hand during those times of the day when I was not busy working with my hands on the bench in our development lab. One day, many years ago, someone taped this great cartoon above the busy brewer in our coffee alcove. It certainly could not have been meant for me because I had much practice in the fine art of making (and consuming) coffee. I loved the cartoon, though, with its admittedly humorous characterization of engineers during my early years who wore ties and white shirts with pocket protectors for pens and small slide-rules! The anonymous posting perpetrator could not resist adding, “Pick the pot up – pour the last cup!” Today, I always rejoice when recent medical findings appear on the evening news extolling the latest perceived benefits of drinking coffee. This is because I have consumed so much during my lifetime that any adverse health findings would really be a bummer. So far, so good!