9000 pots of coffee. If a man’s life were measured in pots of coffee I guess 9000 is about what I would be. When I started drinking coffee they said it was bad for me. It would stunt my growth, make me jittery, keep me from sleeping and cause all manner of health disorder. Now they say coffee is good for you, a great source of anti oxidants that will prevent cancer and give me a long and happy life. This morning as I was making what very well could have been my 9000th pot of coffee it occurred to me that it may well have been the coffee, and a very merciful God, that have kept me going this long.
Coffee has been a constant throughout my life during the good times and the not so good times. It has given me the boost in the morning to get up and go to work. The aromatic hot beverage got me to roll call on time when I was a young man in the Air Force. The life giving caffeine kept me going all those years as a software engineer working in the dark of night to solve the hard problems that could not be worked on during the daytime when others needed the computers. I have had coffee before all the big events in my life. I consumed it early in the mornings before all my running races hoping it would induce the bodily functions to occur before the starting gun, not after.
The heavenly beverage helped me get through those black nights in the terrifying months following the cancer diagnosis. When sleep would not come I would just get up and drink coffee until I was too exhausted to stay awake any longer. Two or three hours of sleep was all I could count on in those early days of this battle when the unknown loomed so large.
There is nothing I like better than to just sit in a coffee shop sipping the beverage and staring out the window. One of my favorite life stories is from the Brew House in Parker where I used to live. I used to stumble in there on cold winter mornings after long tromps through the woods looking for deer to photograph for my stock photo business. There was always a sweet young lady at the counter who would show me a friendly smile and take my order. One day there was new guy at the counter who was grilling me with a million questions about flavors and drinks I had never so much as even heard of. As I was getting ready to order my usual black coffee I heard a familiar voice chime in from the back of the store with “He likes his medicine straight!”. That little phrase was more accurate than she could have ever imagined and I have never forgotten my little friend behind the counter for remembering my preference. I remember her face, but not her name and she has since moved on to a higher paying job with a better future. Unfortunately the Great Recession has claimed many of my favorite haunts, including the Brew House and the Pikes Perk in Manitou. I hope my favorite places in Evergreen, Aspen Park, Georgetown and Leadville are still standing and I will soon be able to visit these beautiful places again.
There is a light at the end of the dark tunnel of cancer in the family and, and I have a new favorite coffee shop at the base of magnificent Pikes Peak. I don’t get there much but when I can get to the Donut Mill I love their black coffee and a couple of their awesome homemade chocolate covered donuts. No matter what, Father Time keeps rolling along and the black coffee keeps flowing.