Herb’s blog, Herbdate 16323-011:
Okay, so my friend and former co-worker, Alice, sends me an e-mail that says she has always heard it was supposed to be a minimum of a thousand words a day. Well, I think that may be true, but the “Nifty Three-Fifty” was intended to just get you sort of jump-started and on your way. I have been noticing that many of my entries are between seven hundred and a thousand anyway, so I will just sort of blather on as I have been doing and hope for the best.
In a book called “Don’t Dig for Water Under the Outhouse and other Cowboy Commandments” by “Texas Bix Bender” which is part of a series of books of Western Wisdom and common sense which includes such classics as, “Don’t Squat With Yer Spurs On,” page 39 says, “Do not tolerate weak coffee.” Boy that is the truth! I get up at 4:00 a.m. almost every morning no matter what time I went to bed. There are times when I might sleep in until 5:00, and sometimes I get up earlier than that, but the average is 4:00. I quietly greet Roo Boom Boom, who lives near two bedroom doors, let Snoopy out (although that scares me, now), talk to the cats and the birds for a minute and then make coffee. If there is much left in the pot, I will often nuke a cup of it, first, as it seems wasteful to just dump a half a pot, but most of the time I would rather start the day with a freshly brewed pot. I use a ¼-cup measure, and heap it full. This is roughly a good handful and generally comes out strong enough so I don’t want to spit it out, but weak enough so Margaret can drink it. When it is up to me and I know I will be the only one drinking it and I will drink it all relatively quickly, I make it much stronger. I agree with The Louis L’Amour character, Flagan Sackett, in the book “Galloway” who said, “Squatting by the fire I tried to blink the sleep from my eyes while pouring a cup of coffee. It was hot, and black as the hinges of hell, but it tasted good.”
Camp coffee is a whole ‘nother critter. Nothing compares to filling a big pot with water and filling a boot sock (preferably a clean, new one and never one of Carter’s under ANY circumstance, even if he claims he washed it.) with grounds and setting it on to boil. Speaking of Carter, we often refer to my coffee as “The Best Cup Of Jo on the Island.” How, you may ask, can I be so sure it is the Best Cup of Jo on the island? Because it is the ONLY cup of Jo on the island. Laughs raucously at the private joke between him and his friend which no one else in the world would get, even if they bothered to make an attempt to explain it.
Another, more controversial, form of coffee is a muddy-water looking, turpentine-smelling, iodine-tasting, wound-dressing known as Army Coffee. What is so controversial about Army coffee is the question of whether or not it is coffee. Hoo-ah! One thing is certain about it, however. It meets the hot and black requirements!
Sometimes, if my daughter has done the dishes and was in a good mood, she will have made the coffee. We seldom use the timer because I really don’t know exactly when I will get up, just that it’s before the alarm clock. I am the family alarm clock. While I am waiting for the coffee to brew and Snoopy to want to come in, a lot of the time I will talk to God some and get the computer going. There is not much short of this side of heaven when you pour that first hot cup of Jo and step out onto the back porch and look outside for the first gray streaks of dawn. I’ll talk to God some more, but then Snoopy thinks I am talking to her and comes across the yard to be let in. Me and God and Snoopy walk back in the house and close the door. The last couple of mornings it has been around 25 degrees, so me and God just look out the window and wait for Snoopy to scratch at the door. It is normally a peaceful time, but there are exceptions, such as mornings, usually when my daughter has made the coffee, when it not so wonderful. Sometimes she will not heap the measure, but will make it level. This is not a good thing, because then it has gone past the weakness tolerance and has all the body of dirty dishwater and the quality of taste of a dishrag. Sometimes I wonder if she didn’t run the dishwater through the dishrag to make the coffee. It is not a pleasant thing. Whether it is the first cup on the back porch, by the kitchen window, or at the computer, cleaning up spewed coffee isn’t any fun and no way to start the day, that’s for sure. It is a wasteful and hateful thing to me to have to dump out a pot of coffee or go without and save it for Margaret to drink when she gets up around 5 – 5:30 time frame. Sometimes neither one of these options will do and I will have to drag myself and my big-bottomed “To Go” cup down to the 7-11.
No matter what, I cannot envision what a life would be like that was devoid of this heaven-sent beverage. What? You don’t know? I will share with you a little bit of theology here. Very important stuff here since you won’t find it in any books, like the book of Revelation or something. The River of Life, in heaven has 2 branches like hot and cold running water, The cold side is Coca-Cola and the hot side is, of course, coffee.