Posts Tagged ‘coffee night’

Every Thursday after work, I head west on the Green Line, to a bakery in Brookline where I meet up with Abi and Shanna. We are all college friends and Texas transplants to Boston; we share the same faith, many of the same friends, the same shell-shock over Boston winters and the bond of people who have journeyed a long way together.

We pull off coats, hats, gloves; we order croissants and individual pots of tea, or paninis or soup if we’re really hungry. We sit at a round marble-topped table by the front window, and for a couple of hours we talk about school and work, husbands and friends, church and life.

I am – make no mistake – deeply grateful for these times. However, that doesn’t stop me from missing the Abilene edition of coffee night, feeling a small tug each Tuesday, when I know they’ll be gathering at Mezamiz.

There will be anywhere from two or three to eight or ten women, and they will order decaf lattes and hot cocoa and tea, or maybe a glass of wine. If they’re lucky, they will score the big, cozy couch near the sliding glass door that leads to the deck; some of them will plop down on it, and the others will pull up chairs to form a circle. They’ll exchange hugs and smiles, share photos and stories, talk about kids and work, husbands and friends, struggles and triumphs. They’ll share the latest news of their lives, the details I don’t always hear since I now live so far away. They will go home full and happy, satisfied not only with food and drink but with friendship and love.

I am so grateful for both editions of coffee night – though even while being a part of the one, I can’t help missing the other.

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We had coffee at Rachel’s house this Tuesday. They have a big, multi-level deck with a fireplace, lots of cozy seating and a lovely view, and she set out lots of wonderful snacks – including homemade tomato soup, fresh strawberries, tortilla chips and both tea and coffee.

But the biggest attraction of the night wasn’t edible – or even human. Rachel and her husband, Scott, have assorted pets, and the most exciting of them all is Pickles the llama:

Isn’t he cute? Since Bethany and I watched The Emperor’s New Groove about a thousand times in college, we were very excited to make his acquaintance.

He wasn’t sure what to think of us at first, but eventually decided we were okay, and even felt a little affectionate:

That’s Bethany getting a llama “kiss” – and then I got one too:

(I look pretty goofy, I know. But how awesome is it to get kissed by a llama?!?!)

Happy Love Thursday. May your week be full of unexpected pleasures – as mine has certainly been! Visit Karen’s blog for more links and stories of love.

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Each Sunday during Bible class, whoever is teaching will ask if there are any announcements. Frequently, someone will speak up about a charity event or a theatrical production or a lecture series happening around town. And every week, a female voice from somewhere in the room will pipe up, “We’re having coffee.”

This started three years ago when Jana decided the women in our class should have a place to hang out and just talk, and get to know each other. We have great fun on Sunday mornings, but when our class size exploded and we moved to a larger room, you couldn’t talk to everyone any more. So Jana announced one Sunday that she’d be at a local coffee house one night that week with a book, and any women who wanted to could come to just talk and hang out. (The book was for insurance, in case nobody turned up – but I don’t think she ever even got it out.)

Well. Three years later, we have a solid core group of regulars and a few semi-regulars, plus visitors who drop in occasionally. (The guys in our class keep threatening to gate-crash, but so far they never have.) We gather around the low coffee table by the back window at Mezamiz; some of us plop onto the sunken green corduroy couch, and others pull up chairs and perch nearby. We eat warm scones and chocolate-chip cookies, soft and gooey on black plates; we drink tea and chai lattes and hot cocoa and Italian sodas and espresso shakes (most of us, ironically, don’t drink coffee). Some of us (Abi, Bethany and I) knit or crochet; Amanda sometimes does henna designs; we show off projects or trade books or pass around photos. And we talk.

Oh my, do we talk. And talk. And talk. About movies and books and spouses and children and families and jobs and housework. About projects and travel and shopping and church and what was said in class the previous Sunday. We trade stories and tell jokes and wait eagerly for the newest list of questions asked by Edward, Amanda’s little boy. We yammer away until 10:27 or so, at which time Christy comes around and says, “We’re closing in three minutes, everyone.”

These women are my sanity, my soul-sisters, my affirmation group, and I count all of them among my best friends. My “coffee ladies” are one of the great treasures of my life. I am SO thankful for them.

Happy Love Thursday, everyone – check out Karen’s blog for more pictures and stories of love.

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A few weeks ago, on a wild stormy night, we had coffee at Kelsey’s new house. Abi brought a huge batch of cranberry scones, and her stash of teas and china cups and mugs. Amanda brought banana bread; Bethany brought Grasshopper Pie; I brought the decaf coffee. Jana and I had books to trade – Pemberley Shades, The Cloister Walk and Traveling Pants. Jana had fabric for Amanda to make her a skirt and apron. Kelsey and Abi both had too-long trousers for Amanda to hem. Abi had a near-finished scarf to show me (she needed a refresher on how to bind off), and beads to make earrings for Amanda.

Most weeks don’t see such a mad exchange of goods and services. But as Julie likes to say, “You know you’re friends when your stuff gets all mixed up.” And even when we’re not bringing crafts and books and food to trade, our “stuff” – our stories and hang-ups and rejoicing and tears and laughter and our whole lives – get mixed up every week.

I love it that way.

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Last night I had coffee with a group of women whose hearts I’ve come to love. We meet at Mezamiz once a week (the date is variable), sip our hot or cold coffee-ish drinks of choice, and talk – about jobs, movies, husbands, kids, recipes, haircuts, faith and life. For some reason last night, several of us wound up sharing about our experiences with dramatic reenactments of the Christ story. Jana’s husband, Richard, has played Jesus in several productions, and I was a part of a church Easter musical for five or six years as a teenager. We talked about the profound impact of acting out the Christ-story, on individual believers and on church bodies. But my favorite was a story Amanda told.

Amanda’s husband, Ray, used to have long wavy hair and would get frequent comments such as “You look like Jesus!” from random people in the street or at the grocery store. But one day a little girl ran up to him and asked breathlessly, “Are you Jesus?” He squatted down to her level, looked her in the eye and said kindly, “No. But He’s a real good friend of mine.”

I think I’d like to be able to say that.

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