"C" is for Coffee

Grateful April in the A-Z Blogging Challenge

My coffee loving Tracey just posted this!
Day three of the A-Z Blogging Challenge, and I'm sitting here enjoying that for which I am grateful that begins with C. It's warm. It's caffeinated. It's sweet, vanilla, coveted. Coveted Coffee. I love it so much I give it two Cs today. And it doesn't escape me that on the day I'm singing coffee's praises, I'm blogging much earlier.

My coffee journey went something like this: Twenty years ago, a friend said, "Hey, have you ever tried Starbucks?" I hadn't. Wasn't Starbucks coffee? Old people drank coffee. My grandma smoked and drank coffee. I did not consider myself in her category so I turned up my nose and shook my little permed head no. You would not catch ME drinking that vile liquid.

Within the year, I tried it. What the heck?? Coffee comes in chocolate? I was in love. 

Since that time, I have drunk gallons of Starbucks coffee and once considered myself a "Starbucks only" coffee drinker. If I calculated how much money I'd spent, I could have paid for my college tuition on the money it took keeping me awake in those classes. I went so often that my order preceded me. Once, Mr. Martin decided to surprise me with a cup, and his experience went like this:

"I'd like a venti mocha... non-fat... no whip... one Sweet n Low," he said slowly and carefully in the way of a man who'd ventured into Martian territory where clearly no one spoke his language. His natural instinct was to calculate what we could have bought with the money I was wasting (his word, not mine) at Starbucks, so for him to step into enemy territory was big, and he did not want to mess up the order.

"Is this for Dana?" the barrista asked, smiling casually as she wrote the order on the cup.

Crickets chirped, the earth shook.  "You have GOT to be kidding me?!"

Yes, it was like that. I don't do anything halfway. If I like a new song, I will listen to it on infinite repeat. If I discover a new food (enter sushi baked salmon rolls), I'll eat it every day until I get sick. And Starbucks mochas? I drank them Every. Single. Day.

As a new coffee drinker, though, I wasn't keen on the tricks of keeping it in my cup; I splashed it in my car, on my shirt, and in my backpack as I was trying to sneak it into a classroom where I wasn't supposed to have it. The only time I didn't spill it was the day I went tripping down a flight of stairs at college. Forget the books and my purse, they went flying. But when I tumbled to the bottom, the venti mocha was upright with barely a drop of liquid heaven on the lid.

Yes, coffee. Today, I make it myself, and not only does it save me money, it means that I drink it even sooner; I don't have to get in the car to get it, and I can smell it from the bedroom, which encourages me to get up faster in the morning. I take it on the road with me, too--but never in aluminum mugs. I've gotten so great at keeping the coffee in the cup these days that it travels with me just as you see it pictured here.

I am grateful for its warm, inviting deliciousness and for sharing it with friends and family who come by for a mug of the steaming sunshine in a cup. I can't think of another single liquid that brings people together quite like coffee.