No matter what age or gender we may be, all of us will always look forward to an invite, a reason, a time, and a place to sit down with buddies and share a cup of coffee, or tea, or whatever your favourite casual blend or beverage may be. This grand old tradition has been around for countless decades, and will always be the perfect opportunity to sneak away and take a break from a tough day at work, to keep in touch with old friends, neighbours, and relatives, and to be prepared to chat over which ever daily subject might pop up around the table.
We are so lucky to have so many friendly choices of locations to gather for coffee, whether it be the big name quick java and snack joints, or your friendly neighbourhood restaurant or club. Some of these places now have really soft couches and booths to relax in as well as the hard chairs that assure that we sit up straight and pay attention, while the owners usually don’t mind if we rearrange a few seats from somewhere else so that we can get the whole gang together. I fondly recall way back in my employed days that the cardinal rule when we went out for coffee or even a beer was that we were not allowed to talk shop. But now that I am a veteran member of the senior coffee fraternity we usually ramble on about politics, taxes, sports, our vehicles, our family, our aches and pains, old movies, all and the rest, during which we can pause to grab a second cup and start all over again on a different subject. It is so great that during these regular get-togethers everyone will usually manage to share our opinions, and although we may often agree to disagree on some subjects, it usually ends with a lot of great laughs and no hard feelings because by the next day we have likely forgotten what we had been arguing about? On many occasions one-on-one, family, or small group coffee breaks in a quiet corner or in the park are also a really good place to discuss vital issues, to express personal opinions, or to help someone who we know needs a little extra support, care, encouragement, and kindness. Dress code for coffee breaks is usually come as you are, often according to the weather, but I have noticed that most gentleman usually often go casual and loose fitting, while the ladies often dress as if they were about to take part in a community fashion fling, depending of course if they have the kids along.
We have all noticed that many folks, especially the younger crowd, love to snack during coffee breaks on some of those very rich and famous delights that are now being served up hot and juicy in under five minutes flat, but as seniors we have likely had breakfast before going for coffee and we really have to look out for our cholesterol in-take and our rather temperamental tummies. When I became semi-retired and we moved to Red Deer to extend my wife’s career I still continue to work for the Ponoka News but also sought to get involved in our condo and neighbourhood coffee crowd as well as joining up for Golden Age Bowling. Needless to say we were soon warmly welcomed by a wonderful group of gentlemen and their wives, and although some have passed away or relocated over the years, we have always cherished their memories and gotten acquainted with a great bunch of new coffee pals and friends along the way. We don’t have any rules at these casual sessions, just try to get there early before the busy hours so we don’t have to wait in line to long and its not to noisy, and we take turns paying the tab while always watching for the senior discounts and free days. Meanwhile over the years I have always made a point of staying in touch with all my coffee mates and old and new friends by phone or email, some of which our family have had the great pleasure of knowing during our wild and wonderful days of growing up and raising our kids in Ponoka. All of us over the years have certainly realized and hopefully cherished how very special these old and new friendships should always be appreciated, and even though we may not see or hear from each other as much, just like family we will be there for each other whenever the occasion may arise. For the time being for each and every day we should strive to remember that if we are searching for that one person who will change our lives we need only to look in the mirror. Now just go right ahead and have a great “cruising into fall” and back to school week, all of you.