Mad Mare Coffee

“What if we started our own Coffeehouse?” I remember asking Candace…

Ok, so I may not have phrased exactly like that, but it seemed the real ball got rolling on one exhausted morning when I had arrived home from a long night shift.

A conversation with some colleagues about the poor quality of the “house brew” in the employee lounge had soon led into an earnest discussion about the dearth of any quality purveyors within a 35-mile radius.

By the time I arrived home that morning, my mind was humming with possibilities. Like a momma bird about to drop a big fat worm on her hatchlings, I was going to let loose one of those BIG flaming ideas that has changed our lives over the course of our marriage.

Oh! I felt so clever, so why-didn’t-I-think-of-this-sooner clever, that I didn’t even begin to consider the pragmatic. The who’s, what’s, and where’s were still a good way beneath the “we could totally do this!” excitement.

Candace’s reaction was anti-climactic, at best. Upon hearing my suggestion, her face registered all the wonder and surprise of my suggesting that perhaps we could eat Supper that evening. Yeah, I may as well have suggested that it would be a great idea that the Sun decide to set at the end of a day…  for Candace was well ahead of me. She even suggested a bloody clever name: Mad Mare’s (an oblique reference to the local mascot as well as the nursery rhyme)

However, this did nothing to hinder my enthusiasm…  quite the contrary. Since she had already been considering certain local buildings, nearby suppliers, and even what hours of operation would be feasible at the outset.

Immediately we started bouncing ideas off of each other and we began to hammer down the essential attributes of our vision. We were each getting increasingly excited.

We could do this, we could totally do this!

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memoir on Father’s Day morning

In the rare event that a cool Canadian airmass happens to come sauntering down off the High Plains, the sultry Gulf Stream does not take kindly to this intruder.

Growing up out in the rural woodlands of East Texas, such tempests were sure to be accompanied by at least two or three hours of power outages. We didn’t mind it much. Rain, even if accompanied by destructive winds and lightning/thunder is still seen as a blessing in a Season so bereft of precipitation.

My family, having been relieved of the distracting ensnarements of television, was forced to sit around and talk to one another by ambient candlelight…  even as the storm raged outside.

I learned more about my father during power outages than in the many days between.

Though I cannot recall much of the various sporting events or other sorts of programs which yammered out of its flickering maw, the memory of almost every power outage is seared into my recollection…  especially those instances in which my father felt inclined to “hold court” in spinning aphorisms or anecdotes.

My siblings and I would sit spellbound as my father wove tapestries of everything from hell-bent reveries tearing souped-up hot rods along the backroads of East Texas to the mystic misty mornings in the steamy jungles of Southeast Asia.

I think I loved my father most during these times; he seemed such an alive and epic figure…  an image that contrasted bitterly against the battered and tattered figure who broke his back ten hours a day to provide for his family.

Being a strange sort of boy, one whom often despised his father almost as much as he worshipped him, I wanted more of the former man and less of the latter. I wanted to sit beside the heroic figure of his stories and know the brilliant and mad man my father once was.

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At the Coming of the Summer

“…it’s Summertime and the livin’ is easy,
the fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high…”

Tomorrow is the “official” First Day of Summer, the Summer Solstice, in which our hemisphere of the Earth is angled directly towards the Sun.

I was speaking with a colleague of mine a few minutes ago and he expressed a sentiment of considerable dread for the coming season; the long hot days with only rare and intermittent reprieves of rain.

“Even the nights are miserable!” he said, throwing up his arms in a gesture of petulant futility.

I think not so…  what is more, I hope to savor these months.

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the Last Two Stars in the Sky

Early. The sky cries in tiny drops of diamonds, sparkling jewels falling upward into a Sea of glowing indigo.

Of all the ancillary benefits that may or may not accompany my current job, I think it is the rare privilege of being awake during both Sunrise and Sunset of a given day.

I do not adjourn to bed until well after the Earth has turned her face into the Light of our nearest Star, neither do I sleep beyond the Twilight that prefaces the hour she turns away.

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Where The Worm Doth Perish

Quiet night…  listening. The air is gentle, with mild warmth, but I am comfortable enough in my cotton pearl-snap button-up, jeans, and sandals.

It is during my third watch-o’er-the hours (approximately fourth ante Meridiem) that I noticed a curious array of Earthworms squirming and writhing upon the long sidewalk that leads ‘cross the vast front lawn of the grounds.

Curious and curious that so many of these Lumbricus Terrestris should choose a place of such detriment to their being.

Fleeing the moist earth and cool grass for the rough concrete, the same concrete that quickly bakes them in the heat of the morning.

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