It’s Just Coffee: Chapter Three

The smell of coffee was baked in to the very walls of the mountaintop café and anyone visiting would be encased in it and for the day would smell of coffee.

Inside, steam like dragon’s breath curled up from the frothing pitcher of the dark haired barista. He carefully watched even though he could have steamed milk by the sound alone. Drinks were his art, his craft, and he lovingly poured, swirled, and created with his medium.

Second to his coffee crafting was his love of the people. He created to connect, to inspire. He lifted the mocha with his left hand and took a mocha bottle with the other and began to draw. He lifted his eyes to old Meelisa, the local grandmother, and grinned. “You’ll never guess what I’ve made for you today, Oba-chan.”

Behind Erik, the baristas were lively and prepping for the day’s work and expected customers. Meelisa’s old eyes twinkled as she sat on the red leather bar stool, “Erik-Chan, you humor an old lady well. I come not just for your wonderful art, but for your charming self.”

Behind Erik across the room, his mother came out, inspecting the baristas’ work. Her eyes narrowed when she caught sight of him at the espresso machine and the handoff bar. His heart sank as he anticipated the lecture and the rest of the day spent in office doing the business expected of the heir of the Lumeria Coffee Roasting Company.

Meelisa piped up after the wordless exchange between mother and son, “Don’t be afraid to stand up against traditions, Erik-chan. Some traditions are not meant to stay.”

He let a dimpled smile grace his face and he turned back to Meelisa, “Ah, but Oba-Chan, it is disrespectful and slightly selfish to ignore your parents, traditions, and the well-being of those under you.”

“Erik-Chan,” she admonished, “I see the love in your eyes for this work and the connection with the people. It would be disrepectful to ignore the gifts you’ve been given!”

Erik sighed, old Meelisa could freely talk, she was old and beyond the expectations of family.

Sensing his discouragement, old Meelisa continued, “Maybe you’re meant to take a different path than those planned out by those around you. I know you’ll find a respectful way to let them know if that is so. And…” she waited until he looked at her, “I know it is so. And you know, it is not disrespectful to at least try. Try for your dream. Ask, pursue!”

Erik slipped into familiarity, “Meelisa-chan, I do enjoy being a barista, but that is no life, as my mother says. A barista earns next to nothing.”

Old Meelisa looked sadly at him, “Our problems often stem not from having strong desires, but stem from our desires being too weak. We fool about with drink, sex, and ambition as C.S. Lewis says. Are you maybe too easily pleased to do as your mother asks? Are you really content with making mud pies and ignoring the opportunity of living a passionate life lived in the way you were created to be?'”

Erik laughed, “Oba-chan, you are over my head with all your reading and quoting.” His laughter died as his mother approached.

His mother gave pleasant smile to old Meelisa while quietly speaking to him, “Erik, we pay the baristas to make the drinks. I need you in the office working.” That was her soft warning. Not wanting a bigger mess on his hands, he nodded, eyes down, and began to wipe down his work station.

As his mother walked away, he looked over at old Meelisa, “You are making too much out of a small thing Oba-chan. I can be content with the path that has been given me. Isn’t that also part of life?”

A small smile on her lips, Meelisa replied, “God doesn’t limit our dreams. Often his dreams for us expand beyond our imaginations. I just hope you are open to what wonderful works he has planned for you.”

It’s Just Coffee: Chapter Two

Grandma’s Journals 

(Earlier that Same Day)

On the Uber ride to the airport, Eryn pulled out her grandma’s first journal that Grandpa insisted she take with her. It being a first journal implied there were more. Would he share the rest?

Running her hand over the hard and weathered brown cover, she realized it was a simple spiral notebook. They certainly made things to last back then. She rapped a knuckle on it making a sturdy knocking sound.

Eryn’s brow wrinkled in thought. Grandma must not have had money to buy a real journal back then. She was just realizing how much she didn’t know about her grandma’s life other than the fact that her grandparents moved to Iowa from Colorado when Eryn’s little sister was born.

Eryn opened the journal.

Summer 1961

This was from before grandma was married. In fact she would have been Eryn’s age that year.

Eryn peeked ahead to where a large envelope had been book marked and saw it contained a road map. She opened it revealing Colorado dotted with post-it notes. There were loose leafs of paper floating now from the envelope.

Eryn gently opened one yellowed note. At the top sprawled in decorative handwriting it read “Road Trip” and below it read “Plan to Revisit My Memories”.

Eryn glanced down at the pages following. They each named a place and then recounted grandma’s memories.

As she began to read, she was about to find that an hour and half car ride wouldn’t last long enough.

Photo by Deva Darshan from Pexels

” Most of us go through life praying a little, planning a little, jockeying for position, hoping but never being quite certain of anything, and always secretly afraid that we will miss the way.” A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy

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It’s Just Coffee: Chapter One

Cliff Hanger Decision

The picture of mountains was pasted in the airport from floor to ceiling near the glass walled entrance. People streamed around Eryn as she came to a stop.

Stepping closer, she hesitantly reached out a hand and ran the tip of her fingers across the mountain range. Why had she never been anywhere like that? At least as an adult.

A faint memory tugged at her mind. Then an ache started deep within her, a sadness and a longing.

Not another regret. Too many of those were piling up.

A call for her flight from Iowa to Chicago sounded. Eryn deliberately turned away but at the last second, she looked back, and that was all that was needed.

It reminded her of ‘The Call of the Void’. What psychologists named the phenomenon of looking over a cliff and feeling that urge to jump. Totally natural to feel and then you back away from the edge. Except in this case she followed her urge to do the unimaginable, that is, it all began by switching the tickets. Colorado in place of Chicago at the check in area.

This was her “jump”. 

Photo by Alex Azabache from Pexels

Next: It’s Just Coffee: Chapter Two

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