I am not a coffee drinker. Not anymore, that is. But in the not-so-distant past, I used to be, and a pretty serious one at that. Other people are mostly to blame. It all started in college, with the seemingly innocent gift of a black plastic Braun coffee maker from my brothers. Then there was the gift of a stovetop espresso maker from this guy I was dating at the time named Travis. That was a game changer. When I moved up to Seattle, a city chock full of caffeine-ophiles, I kicked it up a notch, getting a job as a barista and starting my days with a triple shot soy latte, usually followed by another mid-morning. I thought I played the part of a rail thin, attitude-slinging, hipster barista fairly well, minus the requisite forearm tattoos, for which I’ve just never felt a calling. By the time I reached thirty, I figured I’d already sipped my way through a lifetime’s worth of coffee, so one day I gave it up altogether, in the name of healthy hydration and natural wakedness, among other things, and I didn’t look back.
But this morning, during Cadel’s naptime, I somehow found myself, while standing over the stove in a dirty apron simmering a fresh cherry sauce for an upcoming Theo blog post, simultaneously drinking an iced latte and dipping pieces of chocolate into a jar of peanut butter as a mid-morning snack (I feel that I do better work for Theo if I’m eating the chocolate). Then I had one of those out-of-body experiences in which I saw myself as from above. I paused, feeling as though I’d been caught with a hidden camera. After over a year without coffee, here I was, turning to caffeine the way a smoker trying to quit just can’t resist the urge to light up when the going gets tough.
I’m tired. We were away from home for nearly the entire month of June, first for the high school and architecture grad school graduations of two of my brothers-in-law, and then for a Douville family vacation to Lake Entiat in central Washington (cold water and hot sun, juicy-ripe cherries and apricots baked into luscious galettes, and a Jenga match for the ages), followed on the heels by a gorgeous weekend wedding of my oldest childhood friend in Portland, and now we are gearing up for Cadel’s first plane ride: a trip to the L.A. area to visit with great-grandparents Sam and Darlyn and family for the fourth weekend. Phew. It is certainly a good thing and a blessing to visit with family and friends, but I think in the future we’d do well if we could space the trips out a little. Either that, or I need to become one of those people who doesn’t need to sleep (do those people really exist?). Ever since we moved away, we’ve missed our Portland families, but while we’re away from Seattle, we miss our mom-and-baby clan, and an entire month apart from them has felt like a real sacrifice to those still budding friendships we’ve tenderly planted in the soil here. Wherever we are, it seems that some part of us is lacking attention. Oh, that we could water all of these relationships at the same time! Since we cannot, we are learning to navigate these difficult choices, all the while shoving into our pockets snapshots of these precious moments at the end of Cadel’s first year:
Recipes from a sleepy day:
Chocolate + peanut butter
Tear open chocolate bar. Break off a narrow chunk. Take lid off of peanut butter (I like smooth, maybe you like crunchy). Dip chocolate into peanut butter (if the level of the peanut butter does not allow you to dunk the chocolate in, you may need to use a spoon,or your finger, depending on how desperate you are). Eat in one bite, reflecting on what a fantastic, made-in-heaven match chocolate and peanut butter are. Take a sip of coffee. Repeat.
After my indulgent morning, I decided at lunch time to balance my snacking with what I’m calling…
leaves from one stem of kale
one roughly two-inch length of cucumber, cut into several chunks
one small celery stalk, or half of one large stalk, broken into several pieces
about 1/4 of a small avocado (or about 1/6 of a larger avocado)
juice from 1/2 small lemon
handful frozen berries (any kind will do)
2-3 tsp. maple syrup
about 4 ice cubes
1/2-3/4 C water
Put all ingredients into blender and process until smooth, adding more water if necessary or desired. Feel better about your eating habits and general health.