By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
Coffee… I was thinking this morning what could I write about that is ‘important’. I was pouring myself a cup of hot coffee… only add cream to make it light… it’s perfect for me. I rarely take sweetener in it.. and then, it’d be only a little pink spoon of Sweet ‘n Low.
It came to me that ‘Coffee’ is very important in my life… and I’m not even a big coffee-drinker. I average 1-2 cups some mornings, no coffee other mornings. It doesn’t matter.
Skip is the coffee-drinker here. He loves his coffee. Lately, the coffee has been too weak, even I’ve noticed it. It seems our coffee at home has been too weak (my fault… who am I to know how to make good coffee? :))) We have stopped when out to purchase cups of coffee… guess what? Their coffee was …. weaker than the coffee I made at home.
So, even not being a big coffee-drinker… I’ve been ‘craving’ a good cup of coffee. I guess it adds up for me after a time of not drinking at least one ‘good cup of coffee’.
The coffee this morning… well, it’s so wonderfully good! We went back to our favorite brand yesterday… Folger’s coffee… the coffee is so good, so….. welcomed!
Folger’s coffee …. is important to me. In several ways because first of all, it’s our favorite. It taste very good, rich but, not too rich. ‘Now’ since December 28, 2004… it became most important and special to me. Why in the world would coffee after all these years become so much more important?
Well, that day…. that momentous day… something awful happened in our life. That morning when I got up early, took my shower, dressed, I stopped at the bedroom door to tell Skip and our Pups, ‘then’ … goodbye.
I turned to go out the back door when my eye caught a ‘red glow’. A red glow? My mind felt confused and as I turned to look behind me… I saw in the window a big, red glow and… “Skip! Skip! The house is on fire!”
That day was a blur as I stood there watching everything go up in smoke. That big two-story house burned everything we had, in it. Things we treasured, somehow held onto through the years burned.
Tommy‘s scuba diving equipment, his old coin collection, his knife collection burned. All of our clothes, shoes…. everything was gone that wasn’t on our back. I had a collection of Ty Beanie Babies … we had………….. we lost so much in that fire.
We lost all the Christmas presents we had for McKenzie, our granddaughter. We hadn’t seen her to give them to her.
We lost…………………………………………………. everything. We only had what we wore that morning on. We had… our Pups, our vehicles. Thank God.
Our three Pups were safe… when I screamed to Skip that the house was on fire, I immediately went into action. I put our Mr. Fairchild (our Rottweiler who lived to be eleven years old), and our father and son Basset Hounds, Gloria’s Garraway and Chadwick Elsworth, into my Expedition. Our Basset Hounds lived to be fourteen, and thirteen years old.
I vaguely remember pain from lifting, half-carrying them, putting them into my truck. I meant to save our Pups, I knew Skip would put the fire out. We had fire extinguishers.
I ran back to help, couldn’t find Skip. Skip had gone back inside the house, got lost coming back out. Later, I found out … Skip could have died in there. How many people come back out of a burning house?
Our neighbors voice guided Skip back out of the house through the smoke, fire. He had gotten burned on his hand. He had breathed a lot of smoke.
Our world went up in flames…. my mind was numb as I stood off from people, watching. I remember just staring through my shocked eyes… seeing those scary flames. I knew if we’d been asleep… we would have been burned trying to get out… or worse. We had three big Pups we would have died for to save them.
Tommy was at his girlfriend’s house, she later became his wife… Taban’s mother. At that time she cared for us, loved us…. she was a special person to us. We loved her… we’ll always love her just as we’ll always love… McKenzie’s mother. We love her step-father… Tommy had alot of respect for McKenzie’s step-father.
Through the following days I saw her sitting on the cold ground cleaning things she found in the debris, sitting there cross-legged. She cared that much… through the shock I took notice. I knew her fingers were so cold, they were black with soot. It was so very cold, later … my fingers became frozen trying to savage anything from all the rubble.
I remember one day I was back at the house, I was so cold, my hands were freezing… a man came by to speak to me. He must have noticed my hands… he went to his truck, came back and handed me a pair of camouflage gloves that were new. He told me to put them on to keep my hands warm. I appreciated those gloves very much. I never forgot him for that.
There are so many fleeting images, moments in my mind at that time but, I couldn’t focus on any one. The shock I was in was like if one was standing still as…. everything began to pass them by….. you only catch fleeting sounds, voices talking, brief glimpses of faces… you can’t ‘see just one’… you can’t focus on any one thing. Your mind, your brain is in a panic… only at moments can one get it together only to fall back into… pure shock.
I am looking back to that day… I remember my little brother, Rick-Rick’s face suddenly in front of me… his face … he was crying for me, for us. He was telling me he was so sorry our house was burning. I remember I was so sad looking at my brother crying… he was all to pieces. I can’t remember how I looked………. I was on the inside looking out.
The lady who lived beside us… we loved her dearly. She and her husband had become very close to us. He had died only months prior to the house fire.
I could hear her voice, she was crying for us… I remember turning around, putting my arms around her, petting her shoulder … telling her “everything is going to be all right, everything is going to be all right.” She was so fragile, my heart hurt for her. Her husband, best friend had died…. now this.
She used to speak of that later… she would say “Gloria, you turned around and hugged me when your home was burning down, and told me … everything was going to be all right.” I think when I did that I was trying to reassure both of us……. I know I was worried for her, she’d just been through so much.
That evening late, we were getting ready to leave to go to the motel the Red Cross had found for us. We were so cold, our Pups were cold. Our neighbor had let them be in an extra fence he had, that day. I remember I wanted to clean it before we left, he said not to worry about it. I appreciated so much our Pups being safe, I didn’t want to leave a mess.
Before we left… Ms Nancy came driving up. She had something for us. Do you know she had a coffee pot, and Folger’s coffee for us? She gave us something warm to drink, something warm to hold onto.
That coffee was so special… think about how when ‘bad things happen’…. you will see hot coffee somewhere close by. ‘Now’, I know ‘why’………. in my own words ‘it’s something warm to drink, something warm to hold onto’…….. I will say one more of my words to describe hot coffee at a time like that….. ‘hope’.
So, you can see why coffee is so important even to me, a ‘not so big’ coffee-drinker. Ms Nancy and that Folger’s coffee…. I’ll never forget her for that…. she’ll never know really how that night following the fire…. that coffee soothed, comforted us. It meant the world to us. I love you, Ms Nancy.
Coffee was so important to me… as I stood there ‘on the inside looking out.’ Hope was in my hands, symbolized by a cup of Folger’s coffee, warm and alive.
- Free Seattle’s Best Coffee Sample (forthemommas.com)