Every morning when I sniff coffee grains, memories of my grandfather in the kitchen flood my mind. He was what I refer to as a coffee connoisseur. Every morning at 6:00 a.m. the percolator was on the front burner. He was loyal to his daily routine which, besides his coffee, included a hearty breakfast, a couple of chapters from his favorite western, and a few Bible verses. Morning was his most cherished time of the day, when the kitchen was his and his alone. Engraved in my memory is an effigy of him, like something out of a Norman Rockwel painting. A warm glow emanates throughout the kitchen as its window greets the east. Wild birds cast fleeting shadows upon the floor and their chatter comes and goes. How utterly delighted they sound in adoration of the sun as though it’s given them sanction to live another day. Steam exhales from the percolator each time the liquid caffeine explodes into the glass knob. Comparable to a steam engine fighting up and incline, it mechanically works its aroma into the air. Like a snake, bacon hisses from the frying pan as the grease gives an unanticipated snap now and then. In an even smaller pan on the back burner, two bulging yokes, lightly sprinkled with pepper stare up at the ceiling. In the midst of all this, the spry elderly gentleman projects his habitual little chants, “Yupp…coffee’s ready.” and “Yupp…bacon and eggs too.” As he manages about the room, friendly little creaks from the floor answer in response. With a jack-in-the-box greeting, the toast springs from its slots. “Oh…gotta get it while it’s hot.” He scurries across the room to butter his toast. On the antique oak table, a Louis L’amour novel sits propped up against the centerpiece with a clothespin on the page where he left off. Not far from there sits the New Testament with another clothespin biting a page of II Corinthians, chapter 13. His silverware and china sit like polished soldiers awaiting inspection, and an extra place setting sleeps late for still-dozing Grandmother.
The trill of a teaspoon dancing inside a coffee cup always fills my heart with warmth and security because, to me, it was the morning song of Grandfather’s spiritual presence. As sure as his faith in God, he sat in the bright yellow kitchen every morning with a hearty breakfast, the best coffee in town, his Bible, and his long time companion, Louis L’amour. That’s the way I choose to remember him, sitting in the light if the sun (Son).