Java Jo…

Today, I am truly and honestly thankful to God for the wonder of creation. On my way into work this morning, I could see through the mist and light fog that the leaves have already begun to turn shades of orange, rust, and gold. I love Fall. I love it. I love the way the air begins to change. The humidity begins to recede. The heat begins to subside. I look forward to that “crisp” feeling and smell of the Fall air. I especially LOVE the Fall palette, and when it looks as if the trees are on fire with the sunlight, it is simply breathtaking.

I started my musings about Fall whilst drinking my favorite cup of coffee on my way to work – a Starbucks Venti Caramel White Chocolate Mocha. Aaaah – the beauty of coffee. I have been in love with coffee since I was a little girl. Not that I was allowed to drink it – I wasn’t. My early associates with coffee had to do with my Grandpa & Grandma King. They were always drinking coffee. When I would hug them, I could smell it on their breath, mingled with either their cologne or perfume, and it became a “warm fuzzy” memory for me. I was told that drinking coffee while I was young would “stunt my growth” but as I was not allowed to drink it, could someone explain to my why I stopped growing at 5’4”???

When I was old enough finally able to decide whether or not I liked coffee, I actually enjoyed it. I would mix hot chocolate with coffee and make a mocha. I didn’t realize that’s what it was called, but that’s essentially what it was. I can remember my first flavored cup of coffee I had with family & friends. Kathy Almacen made Chocolate Raspberry coffee while we watched Anne of Green Gables. Talk about perfection!!! I was in love. I was wooed by the smell of fresh brewed coffee laced with seemingly chocolate covered raspberries. And the taste – I thought for sure, this was something that would be served at a Heavenly Feast one day…

Through the years, I became quite an adventurer in the coffee world. I became especially fond of freshly ground coffee – and when my brother, Dan, bought me a manual coffee grinder – it was all over for me. I had read all of the “Little House on the Prairie” books when I was young and remembered that Laura had to resort to using their coffee grinder to grind wheat to make bread for her family. Somehow – holding a hand-cranked coffee grinder in my hands was also associated with a “warm fuzzy” from my love of reading during childhood.

As I would grind the beans, the aroma would explode out from the cup and the smell alone would lift my spirits. (Those Folgers commercials were never far off, were they?) And then I began visiting coffee shops. Oh the sheer, exquisite pleasure of walking into a shop and smelling fresh-brewed coffee. Ahhhh… The choices – the blends – the flavors – it was all a delight and I enjoyed nearly every sip and every cup.

When Barnes & Noble and Starbucks joined together – seriously. Let’s take a moment to consider this, shall we? Books: My childhood obsession. Coffee: My adult obsession. Can anyone say “Addict” here??? I was hooked. Forever. I walk into a Barnes & Noble and between the smell of the new (and old) books on the shelves, the coffee & pastries, and the sound of an espresso machine happily frothing hot milk – can you even IMAGINE how much more wonderful Heaven will be? (happy sigh.)

If anyone has been paying attention, they will notice that I considered the word “Addict” in relation to my love for coffee. You should note that my husband is specializing in Addiction therapy & recovery. Coincidence? I think so. For me, Coffee is a hobby. It’s something I enjoy. It relaxes me and reduces stress. Sure, I feel amazing when I drink it. Energized, even happier. But I can stop drinking it any time I want.

Really. I can.

I just don’t want to…

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