Coffee. It brings us together. It provides the perfect thing to get on a first date. It’s what all of our Grandads drank on Saturday mornings while they read the paper. It’s what we drink when we need the energy to stay up all night studying for that final. When the days grow short and its gets cold, it’s what keeps us warm. According to CNN.com, today is National Coffee Day.
When I smell coffee it takes me back. Back to a time when a second grade Sunday School teacher looked up from his desk to grin at me before he cracked a joke to make me feel better.
It takes me to another time when he and my dad would ride bikes together, big century rides while our families camped.
It takes me to a time of Octobers, when I would saunter over to a campsite while camping with my family in the Smokies as a youth, a husky padding at my side, to see this same man sitting by a fire in an old sweatshirt and plaid PJ pants reading his Bible, his glasses pushed back, a thermos of coffee by his side. He would look up and smile and wish me a good morning with his deep voice.
It takes me to a time when I watched him and his wife, Denise, go through hard times and face those hard times with such grace and wisdom. It made me want to face hard times with the same grace and wisdom.
And now it takes a 5 minute drive to a cabin set on a hill to share a cup of coffee myself while I ask him for advice as I try to navigate through this life. If I had a Mr. Whittaker in my life, it would surely be Roddy George.
Happy National Coffee Day Roddy George.
From the very first day that I met them, the George’s have been very influential in my life. They live in a real log house set on top of a mountain with a cedar tree in the front yard. They live lives full of adventure. When Mr. Roddy taught me in Sunday School, Mrs. Denise taught me piano and took me horseback riding with her horses. A campfire was so much better when they were there, with laughter filling the night. I have many memories of hikes taken with them in the Smokies, of stories told, of tomahawks to be made, of stars to be looked at and caves to be explored.
A campfire is so much better when they are there.
A common question asked of me this year was what people inspire me. Close to the top of this list, I would always say Roddy and Denise George. I realized that I subconsciously want to dress like they do in old outdoorsy clothes and hiking boots. I often describe myself wanting to live in a log cabin. I want to grow old like they do. I want to love someone one day the way they love each other. For instance, if a guy doesn’t treat me the way Mr. Roddy does, he’s off the list!
While Mrs. Denise doesn’t drink coffee, she does see beauty in the world and has a love for nature and creatures unlike any I have ever seen. She has such a talent for capturing what she sees with a camera in a way that flows like notes off a sheet of music. When I attempt to capture the world, I can’t help thinking of her as I take pictures myself and remembering the way she taught me to interpret music like how you would see the sun dancing on a creek in the woods.
Their love of the West was certainly on my mind while living there this past summer and upon returning I knew that they would listen with enthusiasm as I told them of the adventures I had, the people I met. Indeed, the way they listened made me feel like they were there themselves. After a long journey, they’re the people I want to see.
They treat me like family. The way they face life with adventure spurs me on to face it with adventure while reading my Bible and drinking a cup of coffee.
Roddy and Denise George you inspire me. I am better because of you. Let’s meet up in a couple of weeks and share some campfires together. Happy National Coffee Day!