This blog is for all who desire to create with words and images.
You are encouraged to participate in any way that is meaningful to you.

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You are free to use the photo to be inspired to write any way you desire.
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you may offer your writing to any prompt anytime.
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Write and you are a writer.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

C - Sunday's Alphabet Prompt

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Suggested Prompt...
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C is for Coffee
Write a poem, story or an essay that includes a cup o'joe.



_________________________



Squirrel Hunting With Grandpa


Three a.m. on a winter morning in the 1940s
I water and feed the rabbits (why do I always get the cold job?) as grandpa put homemade biscuits in the top warmer
of the woodburning 4-burner stove. Grandma slept in.
Grandpa made the coffee strong
Handful in a pot of boiling water, one of those gallon sized
Blue Ceramic with white flecks coffee pots.
To the smoke house, slice off fresh cured bacon with rind on
Fry to a crisp, remove coffee pot from stove
Put bacon on towel to drain
Crack two brown hen eggs at a time
Into the smokin' bacon grease they go
Throw the shells into the coffee pot to settle the grounds
(In those days there were no electric coffee makers with paper or gold filters)
Turn the eggs once when edges are brown
Butter the biscuits (real butter) and call Jim
Fix his plate first while his eggs are frying.
Grandpa had everything down to a science. His coffee was so strong it was a task to close one's eyes after drinking a cup. Without cream or sugar. Black Coffee. Steaming hot. The perfect drink preceeding a squirrel hunt, Grandpa's favorite prey. Couldn't even blink!
Eggs were done clear through, bacon crunchy, biscuit crusty,
soft buttery inside, gone in a flash.
Grandpa sits down, drinks his coffee, tells me to go start the truck, a 1949 GMC 3-speed stick shift green farm work stinks like chickens and pigs and hay vehicle. Grandpa trusted my driving skill since both he and my step-father taught me to drive when I was six years old. We gleaned corn from farmers' fields to feed the pigs. My cousin Denny never learned to shift too well...because I always put it in high gear when it was his turn to move up the row. He stalled the motor every time, and Grandpa would yell, 'Danny, get out and let Jim move the truck.' Denny fumed. He didn't like to hunt or do anything outdoors, I guess that is why Grandpa favored me.

Grandpa put the guns we had oiled and checked the night before into the space in back of the seat (he never put them outside where they could be stolen). Unloaded, of course. Three primary rules never to be broken around Grandpa was that you always assumed a gun is loaded, never point it at anything you're not going to shoot, and never run with a gun. Violation of any of Grandpa's rules resulted in a painful trip to the smokehouse, where he kept a cured rawhide paddle. Three whacks on the bare bottom was the usual fare, and one dreaded a fourth swat. He rarely went that far, however, knowing the embarrassment that just going to the smokehouse caused. Everyone knew the procedure: Enter, drop your drawers, bend over. No pleas for mercy, no whimpering, no screaming. Just endure the three, then you're done. The worst part is walking out to the twitters of the assembled friends and relatives. Part of the punishment was the humiliation. I only went to the smokehouse three times. That first trip brought me four whacks. I learn fast.

Driving 50 miles to the Younger farm (yes, relatives of the Jesse James gang) in Chester, Illinois in the pre-dawn darkness took over an hour, so it was almost sunup when we arrived. We took our position in the hickory woods and waited, usually back to back. Grandpa usually got his limit of 5 squirrels in just a couple of hours. He was a combination stalker/camouflaged ambusher. His trusty .22 rifle was his preferred weapon for squirrels, and a 16-gauge double-barreled shotgun for rabbits. His squirrels were normally shot through the head, as Grandpa didn't want to waste the meat. He bought me my first gun, a Savage-Stevens .410 gauge double barrel, which I learned to use with deadly proficiency under his tutelage.

Making a mistake with a gun was something Grandpa never did, and if we did, we paid for it. I did on two occasions. One, after my very first kill at age 8, I ran with the rifle to retrieve the squirrel, I was so excited. I remember begging with Grandpa not to take me into the smoke house, all the way home. It did no good, only made matters worse. I got the four whacks.

I drank coffee most all the time at Grandma and Grandpa's. They also let me smoke. Bull Durham, roll-your-own. I was twelve.

I smoked for 20 years, up to 4 packs of Pall Mall or Camel or Lucky Strike (no sissy filters for me, like Marlboro) before I quit cold turkey. I also quit drinking alcohol. I still drink coffee, though, hot and black or sometimes with a bit of cream and friendly conversation with friends. Marvelous beverage!

Jim Pankey, USN (Ret.)



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15 comments:

literally stupid said...

thats a cute picture laura
i had few wonderful moments in a coffe shop in a busy lane of ours.they had served a coffe with the same design.they were great moments with my friends. with rains pouring down the glasses, and watching people running around to make themselves safe.
you had brought back those sweet memories.
your blog is wonderful........looking forward to see more beautiful pictures!!!

shabby girl said...

As he sat in front of the coffee shop in the hard metal chair, he barely noticed the drizzle around him.
He saw the cream in his coffee take the shape of a little embryo, and his heart broke all over again.
His heart broke for his wife, the love of his life, who seemed to be disappearing down a dark hole that he was powerless to help her out of.
But his heart also broke for himself and the dream of lifting and twirling that child in the air, laughing and loving this little child more than life itself.
Realizing that the drops in his coffee were his own tears, not the rain, he walked away to follow his wife.

Inkpot said...

Philip fixed a cup of coffee just the way he liked it and picked it up to take to his writing room (the shed, Kathy his wife called it) at the end of the garden. On the way out of the house, he bumped into Kathy.
'Phil, I can't find Prince's collar, do you know where it is?'
Philip frowned. He had few hours for his writing, he didn't want to waste time searching for the dog's collar.
'I don't know. Walk him through the woods, you won't need to put him on the leash,' Philip snapped.
He went into the garden. Lucy was crouched on the ground staring at the bushes.
'Daddy, Daddy come and look at this.'
'What now?' Philip thought, but he dutifully detoured to his daughter.
'What?' he said.
'Look Daddy, my caterpillars have formed a chrysalis. That means they are going to change and turn into beautiful butterflies.'
'Yeah, that's nice,' Philip said. Another few minutes wasted when he could have been working. He frowned and stomped down the path and went into his shed. Inside, sitting on his comfy chair, he sighed. This was the life.
He booted up his computer and opened a new document. He stared at the blank page and the cursor blinking invitingly.
His mind was blank. What to write about?
Five, ten minutes passed.
He picked up his coffee cup. The letter c swirled in the cream on the top. It made him think of his wife and his daughter. An idea blossomed in his mind.
Maybe it wasn't wasted time talking to them after all, he thought.

TesoriTrovatiJewelry said...

Emy Js

This place is special
The roaster in the corner
churns out the burnt toast smell wafting out the door and across the parking lot
luring me in
Tables cozy and unique
with colorful tile mosaics
encouraging lingering
The churning and shushing of the
espresso maker
bubbling over with foam
delicious
liquid courage
to face my day
I cannot live without
They know me here by name
my special request
vanilla chai zinger please
This cup is
a frothy work of heart
helping me to face whatever comes next and
ensuring that I will
be back
tomorrow.
----
This is in honor of my favorite coffee shop, Emy Js. No big chain, just a little family owned shop that feels like the next best place to being at home. But with better coffee and more sparkling conversation! Support your local businesses! Enjoy the day!
Erin
http://treasures-found.blogspot.com

Dan Felstead said...

My 23 year old son is adopted. We adopted him when he was 3 months old. We moved from our town when he was five. 4 Years ago, we moved back to our hometown. Our son stayed behind in St. Louis attending college. Due to a long chain of events, he moved back a year ago to our hometown. Looking for a partime job, he applied at 7 of the Starbucks here in town. He was hired by one of them. 6 Months ago, he called about 8pm and ask me and his mom some advice. He said there is a girl he works with at Starbucks that is going to tell him something that will change his life after he gets off work. We told him we ha no idea what she may want but to call us after the meeting. He called back at midnight. He said "you guys better sit down"...."The girl I work with is best friends with my birth mother"! Indiana has closed adoption laws...after 22 years of no contact and being out of town he went to work at the one Starbucks store where this girl worked. Funny how life gives direction even if you aren't aware of it happening. The birth mother has a 13 year old son and was giving him the talk about "when I was 16, I made a mistake and had a child and give him up for adoption so don't make the same mistake I did. The 13 year old says..."do you know anything about him"? The mother says no, not other than his name is ......So the 13 year old went to Facebook typed in .....and the profile came up ....Hi I am ....and I live in .....and work at Starbucks. The 13 year old thinks...Our friend works at one of the Starbucks in town. The 13 year old called the friend and said, "do you happen to work with a ....." She said" Yeah, I have worked with him for about 6 months". The 13 year old screamed.....
"Oh my God, it's my brother"! This person at Starbucks was the one who told my son something that changed his life.

Kalyn said...

Thanks for visiting my blog. According to the One-Minute-Writer, we are both snackivores. :)

Jen said...

I am intoxicated by the scent of coffee, the complexity of the taste never disappoints me. The warmth I feel through the cup radiates comfort.

I have kicked the caffeine addiction more than once, more than twice, and yes, more than thrice. Yet, I keep coming back for more...

It is as if coffee unleashes the truth of my soul, allowing me to think freely, to enjoy life that much more.

Coffee is pretty close to perfection except...coffee breath!

Sorry, I couldn't think of a poem or story, but I had to share my love of the "last legal high"!

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Stevie G.B. said...

coffee coffee coffee
magic from a bean
coffee coffee coffee
gimmie my caffeine

coffee coffee coffee
cup 2,3,4
coffee coffee coffee
don't tell me no more

coffee coffee coffee
shaking in my shoes
coffee coffee coffee
almost as good as booze

coffee coffee coffee
I think my nerves are shot
coffee coffee coffee
put on another pot

coffee coffee coffee
I better sit down
better make it decaf
the room is spinning 'round

Laura Jayne said...

:) Stevie you made me laugh out loud.

Stevie G.B. said...

Thanks LJ...The one I wrote about the guru on the mountain is even funnier. It even made me LOL out loud...

Hans Lundahl said...

When coffee, though a dark brown drink

Was named a coffee "black",

Was beige too "grey"
Since grey-friars' way
Of clothing

Is beige both front and back?



The cappucino gives a hint

Since beige it is no doubt:

Named after them,
Their mantle hem
And hood too,

It should colour all their clout!

Cynthia S said...

Cynthia doesn't care for coffee.
In contrast, she chooses hot cocoa.
It causes the coziness and contentment she craves.
From a childhood that had concluded so long ago.


True story, but not TOO long ago. :)

Wildspirit said...

I'll be 69 years old on the 6th. I take morning pills for arthritis, neuropathy, pain, depression, and hypertension...and wash them down half an hour later at Pop's, the Hangar One Cafe, or at Ya-Ya's with half a dozen cups of hot, satisfying, caffeinated Colombian coffee with a dab of cream.

The doctor tells me I shouldn't mix the drugs with the caffeine, but what the hell, it'll be another 90 days before I have to see him again. Besides, coffee makes for good conversation, drugs don't.

Wildspirit said...

Squirrel Hunting With Grandpa

Three a.m. on a winter morning in the 1940s
I water and feed the rabbits (why do I always get the cold job?) as grandpa put homemade biscuits in the top warmer
of the woodburning 4-burner stove. Grandma slept in.
Grandpa made the coffee strong
Handful in a pot of boiling water, one of those gallon sized
Blue Ceramic with white flecks coffee pots.
To the smoke house, slice off fresh cured bacon with rind on
Fry to a crisp, remove coffee pot from stove
Put bacon on towel to drain
Crack two brown hen eggs at a time
Into the smokin' bacon grease they go
Throw the shells into the coffee pot to settle the grounds
(In those days there were no electric coffee makers with paper or gold filters)
Turn the eggs once when edges are brown
Butter the biscuits (real butter) and call Jim
Fix his plate first while his eggs are frying.
Grandpa had everything down to a science. His coffee was so strong it was a task to close one's eyes after drinking a cup. Without cream or sugar. Black Coffee. Steaming hot. The perfect drink preceeding a squirrel hunt, Grandpa's favorite prey. Couldn't even blink!
Eggs were done clear through, bacon crunchy, biscuit crusty,
soft buttery inside, gone in a flash.
Grandpa sits down, drinks his coffee, tells me to go start the truck, a 1949 GMC 3-speed stick shift green farm work stinks like chickens and pigs and hay vehicle. Grandpa trusted my driving skill since both he and my step-father taught me to drive when I was six years old. We gleaned corn from farmers' fields to feed the pigs. My cousin Denny never learned to shift too well...because I always put it in high gear when it was his turn to move up the row. He stalled the motor every time, and Grandpa would yell, 'Danny, get out and let Jim move the truck.' Denny fumed. He didn't like to hunt or do anything outdoors, I guess that is why Grandpa favored me.

Grandpa put the guns we had oiled and checked the night before into the space in back of the seat (he never put them outside where they could be stolen). Unloaded, of course. Three primary rules never to be broken around Grandpa was that you always assumed a gun is loaded, never point it at anything you're not going to shoot, and never run with a gun. Violation of any of Grandpa's rules resulted in a painful trip to the smokehouse, where he kept a cured rawhide paddle. Three whacks on the bare bottom was the usual fare, and one dreaded a fourth swat. He rarely went that far, however, knowing the embarrassment that just going to the smokehouse caused. Everyone knew the procedure: Enter, drop your drawers, bend over. No pleas for mercy, no whimpering, no screaming. Just endure the three, then you're done. The worst part is walking out to the twitters of the assembled friends and relatives. Part of the punishment was the humiliation. I only went to the smokehouse three times. That first trip brought me four whacks. I learn fast.

Driving 50 miles to the Younger farm (yes, relatives of the Jesse James gang) in Chester, Illinois in the pre-dawn darkness took over an hour, so it was almost sunup when we arrived. We took our position in the hickory woods and waited, usually back to back. Grandpa usually got his limit of 5 squirrels in just a couple of hours. He was a combination stalker/camouflaged ambusher. His trusty .22 rifle was his preferred weapon for squirrels, and a 16-gauge double-barreled shotgun for rabbits. His squirrels were normally shot through the head, as Grandpa didn't want to waste the meat. He bought me my first gun, a Savage-Stevens .410 gauge double barrel, which I learned to use with deadly proficiency under his tutelage.

Making a mistake with a gun was something Grandpa never did, and if we did, we paid for it. I did on two occasions. One, after my very first kill at age 8, I ran with the rifle to retrieve the squirrel, I was so excited. I remember begging with Grandpa not to take me into the smoke house, all the way home. It did no good, only made matters worse. I got the four whacks.

I drank coffee most all the time at Grandma and Grandpa's. They also let me smoke. Bull Durham, roll-your-own. I was twelve.

I smoked for 20 years, up to 4 packs of Pall Mall or Camel or Lucky Strike (no sissy filters for me, like Marlboro) before I quit cold turkey. I also quit drinking alcohol. I still drink coffee, though, hot and black or sometimes with a bit of cream and friendly conversation with friends. Marvelous beverage!

Jim Pankey, USN (Ret.)
December 3, 2008