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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What Memories are Made Of

This morning while the coffee maker gurgled and brewed it's sweet nectar, a feeling of comfort came over me.  There was a close call.  Earlier, I had opened the coffee canister to find it nearly empty.  Not enough for a full pot.  And I stink at making any less.  I didn't want to risk the grounds.  Luckily, there was more downstairs.  Yes!

My parents were never really coffee drinkers.  My dad would make a pot in the morning and he and my mother would fill their travel mugs and take them to work.  My Grandparents were huge coffee drinkers.  There was always the smell of a pot brewing in the air (along with the scent of my Granddad's pipe...I know it's not healthy, but, oh, how that scent will stop me dead in my tracks as I suck in every bit if its sweetness.  As if I could sniff my Grandad back to life).  It was on their breath.  It was part of them.  When I think about my Grandparents,  I see them sitting at the kitchen table with coffee mugs, yellow legal pads and pencils scattered on the table.  They were always deep in thought, working on and discussing things.  Usually an Uncle was involved as well.  They were involved in their own world, unaware that they were making wonderful memories for me. 

Gram's coffee maker was a Mr. Coffee.  I have a Kitchenaid.  Hers was white and mine is black. The gurgle is the same.  So is the smell.  For a moment this morning, a gurgle threw me back into my Grandparents house, more specifically, Gram's kitchen.  What a mixture of feelings.  Warmth.  Happiness. And then a wave of sadness as I "come back" and know that it was just a memory.

When I was moving into my first house, all I dreamed about was brewing my first pot of coffee.  I wanted that glorious scent to fill the air.  Make it smell like "home".  I wasn't even a coffee drinker.  In fact, it hasn't been until the past 4 years or so that I have come to really enjoy and become dependant on those little black beans.  I drink mine with a little milk.  Just like Gram. No sweeteners.  Sometimes, I switch it up with some flavored creamer.  That is different from Gram, because, if she even detected sugar of any type in hers, she very well may have spit it out!  She actually threatened that she would.

It just now occurred to me something else I did this past week.  When you opened my Gram's fridge, there was always a little Tupperware container that was filled with milk.  This was for coffee.  It was always there. I now sometimes have trouble lifting the gallon containers of milk, especially when they are halfway or more full.  And then there is the pouring.  I remembered Gram's milk container.  I searched out ebay, found one and for five dollars, got one.  It had to be the EXACT, shape, color and type.  The only difference is that hers was missing the little lid that covered the pour spout.  If I wasn't such a germ, "ick" person, I would leave the lid off too. Right now, the container is soaking in baking soda and water (something else Gram taught me) to be sure all scents (though it was very clean when I received it) stay out of my milk.  I was so excited to find this.  When it arrived, another wave of comfort came over me.

I am more of a memory person.  I try not to place too much value in "things".  There are people who collect and keep things, either because they believe it's the best way for them to hold on to memories or so others can't have them (the things).  Eventually, if they are not careful, they wind up with a house full of stuff.  What was intended for a memory, is now so buried and lost amongst all that stuff, it almost becomes disrespectful to that memory.  It really is sad.  I've also witnessed senseless arguing and hoarding over things.  I don't get it. Great.  You have it and so-and-so doesn't.  So what?  And where is it?  Still in a box?  Buried in the basement or garage?  Nice.  Good for you.  I'll keep my memories, thank you. I'm not saying that I don't keep things either, but I try to make sure that the "things" I do keep are displayed or used.  I would rather someone else have it than keep it in a box or thrown around somewhere. I was not always like this.  I used to like to keep things too, for memories.  Until I witnessed some childish behavoirs.  I decided I never wanted to be like that.  I understood in that moment what was really important.  It's what you keep in your head and heart.

All this, from the gurgle of the coffee pot.  I wonder what my children will remember.  I wonder what sound, sight, smell will one day make them pause and drink in a sweet memory.  More importantly, what will make them smile when that memory surprises them and gives it's instant warmth?  I may never know.  I can only hope there are many.

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