Death over Coffee

My friend came over for coffee today.

This woman has seen death up close. She’s felt it and smelled it and heard its cry many times. She knows its tactics, aftermath and sorrow. She’s even experienced the pain of a close family member who has taken their own life.

We talked on my living room sofa about life. And sex. And accountability. And school. And schedules. And abandonment. And purity. And death. And the stages of grief.

It was six years ago for her, when her 17 year old died. It was ruled a suicide.

I read her the poem I’m writing about my Gramma Grace – my memories of her life and death. This month it will be the 18 year anniversary. She challenged me to stop censoring myself and just be free to express my feelings, because who knows…someone may read it and feel the same way and no longer feel alone. Who knows…it may help someone else in their grieving journey.

Then we pulled my green patio chairs close, almost smacking foreheads together… joined hands, and prayed together as my neighbor walked around outside, brushing his teeth. Yeah, Austin’s a weirdo.

Then we hugged.

It was a good afternoon.

romance is…pizza, coffee, music, conversation & memories

can i just say in response to ms. mandy’s post a while back about romance in marriage…that yeah, it’s possible! not convenient a lot of times, but possible! we’re in our 14th yr. of bein’ together and we’re still comin’ up w/new things. course $ helps, but it’s sure not nec. ~ if you have a way to swap kids w/a friend and walk around downtown together holding a coffee in one hand and each other with the other, it’s all good…like ethan hawke says to winona ryder in “reality bites” :

Troy:: See Lainy, this is all we need. A couple of smokes, a cup of coffee, and a little bit of conversation. You and me and five bucks.
Lelaina:: You got it!

case-in-point: my hubs got tickets to a concert (one of our fave artists, marc broussard), but the guy who bought them couldn’t go, so ricky asked me! the night was ours to own. we were just ourselves together. we talked. we got starbucks & new jersey style pizza, we got front row (thanks baby, for being so anal about getting there so dang early!), we got our groove on, we made fools of ourselves, we met cool people, we sang, we shot videos of the concert, we got home late, stayed up even later and slept in til 10.

we got to know each other better that night…and we got some kick-*@%! memories (& a guitar pick) to show for it.

now, c’mon. ain’t that what it’s all about?!

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let’s hear some more examples (PG-13) of a romantic night in married life!

drink coffee do good (.com) coffee TASTE-TEST

so we brewed up a pot last night and the smell alone did it for me. but the taste… crazy-good!

ricky gave it a 9, me…a 9.5 out of 10. serious. and i’m not even a coffee ambassador for the company. the only coffee i’ve had that tasted better was at a super-ritzy glitzy hotel.

needless to say, i think we’ll be joining the “coffee of the month” club so we won’t run out. thanks, kristi!!

drink coffee do good (.com)

last week i met a great gal named kristi. it’s amazing me how much we have in common already. one thing, is coffee. another is that we share a burden for the country of rwanda (which for me, was sparked by the critically acclaimed film, “hotel rwanda” documenting its horrible genocide & how one man’s bravery saved the lives of thousands). if you haven’t seen it yet, you must, if even for the history, emotional impact & incredible acting. ok, enough advertising…back to our regularly scheduled program:

kristi is a “coffee ambassador” for “the land of a thousand hills coffee“. the rainy climate & volcanic soil there in rwanda is superior for coffee growing, so naturally, their beans are of superior quality. “what’s the difference?” you might ask, “i like my brand from the coffee isle or shop.” well, i got four differences for ya:

buying rwandan coffee means:

  • cultivating excellence in their culture & pride in their main export, coffee. it has been consistently rated 90% or better in excellence. the quality is immediately apparent to regular coffee drinkers.
  • standing up for justice with fair trade ~ to help locals make a living and a profit (they used to earn .40/lb. when it costs .60/to simply grow & harvest…and now they are earning up to 1.86/lb! what a difference. how much? now most can afford schooling and healthcare for their kids).
  • encouraging entrepreneurism which leads to a stronger sense of identity & self-worth. widows and orphans from the genocide 14 yrs ago are greatly influenced today by the coffee trade business.
  • bringing many tribes together again in reconciliation. this one is BIG. here’s an excerpt from the website about the impact, specifically in terms of forgiveness & bringing people of different tribes together:

Those conflicts and disputes among us, where do they come from? They come from our cravings that are at war with in us. We want something and do not have it; so we commit murder. We covet something and cannot obtain it; so we engage in disputes and conflicts (James 4).

Yet if we humble ourselves before God He will exalt us. Reconciliation takes recognizing others’ giftedness and working together. In a real sense it means realizing our need for one another. In the coffee fields of Rwanda, the coffee wash stations, the market places and the churches, reconciliation is happening. Twas, Hutus and Tutsis who were once killing one another are now working together. They are learning of the forgiveness of Christ and forgiving one another. This is all as they work together towards a common goal, a goal of rebuilding their lives, their livelihoods and their country. You too can join in this reconciliation and perhaps the reconciliation in your own life by simply drinking coffee. As you sip this excellent roast, say a prayer for the Rwandans and ask God to help you be at peace with your enemies as well. Drink Coffee. Do Good!

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for more details, head on over to drinkcoffeedogood.com or watch their 3min.video…& think twice before buying your next bag of peets, starbucks, seattle’s best or even millstone. think about stewardship. is my money better spent supporting wealthy american corporations or supporting survivors in rwanda?

if you’re buying beans anyway, now you can get ’em supa-fresh, shipped to your door within a week of roasting, every month, automatically, if you wish. sounds like a win-win to me! lots of causes say, “if you sacrifice just one cup of coffee a day, you could help a child…” well, in this case you can UPGRADE your coffee and help a country!

today kristi gave me a 12oz bag of the medium roast in one of their adorable mugs. how sweeeet is that!? so what’s the coffee like?? ricky & i will be trying it tonight & i’ll post an honest review & rate it (from 1-10) tomorrow. stay tuned and i’ll be back right after this