Perfect Grounds

I shuffle into the kitchen and turn on the microwave light. It is all the light I can handle while trying to wake up. I am looking forward to my first cup of coffee, the pod kind.

Water and pod. Check.
Slam lid shut. Check.
Place my colorful, thin-rimmed, mug under the spout. Check.  
Push start.
It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Within seconds, delicious coffee aroma fills the air … and here is where it abruptly stops, my trip into a perfect morning.
Malfunction.
Hot water gurgles, and this amazing invention of man, spits coffee grounds all over my favorite cup. Within seconds, the liquid looks as if I rinsed my feet in it, after a walk on a muddy beach. It’s definitely not this taster’s choice.

Before coffee-making became easy, it was a lot simpler. I remember sitting at my Oma’s bare, wooden kitchen table. I watched her and learned, not how to make coffee but how to deal with the grounds.

There was no coffee maker, no nifty little plastic containers which were chucked into the garbage. There was a kettle on the wood burner, a tall skinny carafe with a daintily knobbed lid, a tin of coffee, and a little sieve with a small handle, which fit perfectly over the flat coffee cups.

Oma took the tin and, with the wisdom she had gathered over the years, put the coffee straight into the carafe. She had no need for a measuring spoon or a barista’s instructions. She just knew. Then, when the kettle called from the stove, she poured boiling water into the coffee pot, straight over the grounds and put on the lid. Something rich and pleasant permeated the air. Suddenly there was indulgence on the table, in the home which missed many of the common conveniences. This simple pleasure had been steeped by the hardship of war and by making do with one loaf of bread for eight kids.

After a couple of minutes, Oma took the little sieve and set it atop her own cup and poured. Thick, gritty coffee ran from the thin, curvy spout. No, she was not greedy to receive the first cup, but she wanted to make sure she was the one who would gather most of the grounds which still swirled inside the pot. Then her guest was served, who knew that kindness hid in receiving the second cup. The sieve was emptied into a small container on the counter. Grounds were good to toss into the soil of a failing houseplant or a needy shrub in the garden.

I listen to the low rumble of the kettle on my range while I clean up this mess. I wonder about life and all the gritty parts, which I would like to conveniently dispose. I need reminding. This attempt at my first cup of coffee maybe much less about waking up my brain but much more about comforting my heart. Things will be ok despite the mess, and what’s more, maybe even because of it.

22 responses to “Perfect Grounds”

  1. I love the title, Perfect Grounds. In both stories coffee is coffee, it doesn’t change. How we make coffee to drink is the human experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If more bloggers followed your life-story-niche format, it would certainly make life here on WP more readable. ☺️

    I love how you used the last few lines to draw a spiritual conclusion for each of us to build upon.

    I would read and respond if you posted daily, Heidi. Bravo! You make me want to be a better writer.

    God Bless

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Dave (fellow lover of words) … for your encouragement. It means much to me.

      Like

  3. I love your reminiscence of Oma and her coffee ritual. Made even better by the wisdom weaved through your story, Heidi. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She taught me much. Blessings to you, Manette ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. You brought me back to simpler times. The smell of birch and oak smoke followed by coffee and whatever breakfast might be. My grandmother and my mother when I was very young knew the kitchen wood stove well.. I would go pump the water outside the evening before but we did have electricity.
    It’s still simple with God, starting out with a talk and his word.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How right you are, Gary. My hubs laughed at me a few minutes ago. I tried to get comfortable in my recliner … with all sorts of books, and study materials, with pen and journal, with the big study Bible, oh and my headphones and lap desk … and then my little book light, of course my computer needed to sit somewhere, it’s cold so I turned on my heating pillow, wait that needed to get plugged into the outlet the computer had already taken … when I was finally comfy, my pen fell down … right out of reach.
      “God … help!” 😬
      Simpler times.
      (you know I was thinking to write about the time my dad taught me to light the fire in the living room wood burner … huge lessons there, don’t you think?)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL Heidi. I laughed at what I imagined your husband was laughing at. Also I suspect your lighting a fire in the burner had some issues. Did your folks by any chance know the emergency fire # by memory?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I love how you turned that coffee-grounds disaster into wisdom: “Things will be ok despite the mess, and what’s more, maybe even because of it.” A perfect example how Romans 8:28 can be proven true–even while cleaning up a mess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right, Nancy. We don’t have to pretend we like it, or ignore it … but in each circumstance is buried this assurance that God is sovereign. My reactions are usually a good measure to what extend I believe this to be true. (I am not always good at it, my friend. That’s why I write these things to myself mostly! 😉)

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved popping into this memory with you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading, Lindsey! ☺️

      Like

  7. Heidi, thanks so much for the story. What a lovely picture! I agree with Alondra and was also picturing myself sitting there and feeling the love 🙂 Have a wonderful day, 🥰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading, sweet friend.

      Like

  8. Hallo Heidi, ja so war sie, die Oma. Man könnte auf so viel von all den Neuerungen verzichten und das Einfache geniessen. XD fr
    Schön, dass Oma dir so viel mitgeben konnte.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ja. Sie hat uns allen viel mitgegeben! Und so lebt es dann auch in uns weiter. Danke fuer deinen lieben Kommentar, Mama. ❤️

      Like

  9. Wonderful! You took me right back to my great-grandmother’s kitchen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for reading, Linda Lee ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Heidi, you can make a story/lesson out of almost anything. Praise God

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think we forget that life is made of so many layers, such depth, so many metaphors. I think part of being human is to always be searching and asking, “What does this mean?”

      Like

  11. Wow, you could have let that mess start your day messy, but you chose to remember a wise loving woman who helped shape your life and skills you learned through observation and interaction. Your words took me there with you, to her kitchen warmed by not just a stove but with love. Have a blessed day, even if it’s messy and enjoy your coffee.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes. She was that kind of woman. So loving and kind. Hard working but always had room at her table to listen to a hard story or two… of course over a cup of grainy coffee 🙂

      Like

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