“If you live in each other’s pockets long enough, you’re related.”

I have always thought of Keep the Coffee Coming as a community, a family. We get to chat with each other, share memories and have a laugh or two sometimes at our own expenses. One of my favorite Coffee experiences is learning about the world from all of you and about your childhoods and your holidays and traditions. Some family members have been with me for years, and I cherish them but I also cherish the newest members of the family. I think of Coffee as a place devoid of criticism or controversy, a place where we can all feel comfortable with each other.

My friend Hedley has decided not to return to Coffee. Though he has been with me for what seems like the best and longest time, he has decided not to visit again. I wrote him an e-mail wondering if he was okay as I hadn’t heard from him in a while. It was then he told me that there were so many anti-British comments made he felt uncomfortable at the very least and pained enough by the comments that he didn’t feel welcome here any more. He is my friend and I will miss him and his wonderful comments.

I decided that I would tell this to all of you so that maybe it won’t happen again and just maybe Hedley will return. We can’t like everything and we don’t always agree, but we should always respect one another.

I do have one story for the day and I’ll call it Gracie, the Possum and Me. Gracie was sleeping and snoring beside me on the couch around 12:30 last night when she jumped up and ran outside. Right away I heard banging and a noise I couldn’t identify so I grabbed my flashlight and went out on the deck. I flashed the light all over the backyard and finally saw Gracie near the right side of the deck. Then I noticed the dead possum at the foot of the deck stairs. It was a huge, adult possum, as ugly as they come. I went down the cellar and couldn’t find my shovel so I grabbed a hoe and a garden fork missing one tine so I could get rid of the deceased. I went out the cellar door which is right near the stairs. It was then the possum got up and started walking. Gracie ran and grabbed it and I ran and screamed so Gracie dropped it. The possum had only been playing dead and had done a great job. I was completely fooled. After Gracie dropped it, the possum looked dead again, but I didn’t go too close and instead stood guard. Gracie kept running the perimeter of the yard and up the other deck stairs to my side stairs trying to get at the possum. I thwarted her every time. Gracie did that at least seven times. I was totally frustrated as I didn’t dare leave the possum and so I couldn’t lock the gates on the deck to catch Gracie. Finally Gracie was on the stairs near me long enough for me to talk to her, and she came right to me. I grabbed her and brought her inside and gave her a treat for coming. I decided to leave the possum until morning. The whole escapade was over at 1:20.

The first thing I did this morning was check for the possum before I let Gracie out. The possum had done it again, superbly played dead, and had gotten away while we were inside the house. I let Gracie out, and she went looking. Sorry, Gracie, the possum is gone!

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61 Comments on ““If you live in each other’s pockets long enough, you’re related.””

  1. Beto Says:

    My dogs treed a possum this morning. They were content to watch it for the longest time and took turns sitting below it with gaze transfixed while the other dog sniffed the fence line for more transgressors. I’m glad they finally lost interest and came inside to nap, peace in the valley once more.

    • Kat Says:

      I wish this one had stayed in a tree. Last year one did and, like your dogs, Gracie lost interest. Peace in this valley was a long time coming!

      • Beto Says:

        The accelerated activity of the possum world last night was due to the moon setting at 2300 hrs and mating season. The males were out looking for ladies that dig on possum faced dudes.
        That said, it means there is a target of possumly affections very near. Possibly under you abode.

      • Kat Says:

        Now you have me wanting to hunt out the couple. The last thing I need is a possum pair spooning in my yard.

  2. I truly believe there is no room for “criticism” here. Seriously. It’s not like we’re discussing world politics.

    50 minutes before you could collar Gracie! Rough early morning (or late night)!


    • Kat Says:

      I agree totally.

      Gracie was running like the wind and took off every time she got close to me. The problem was I didn’t dare leave the possum as I figured Gracie was faster than I and would have gotten it again so I was stuck in one spot. If there had been another person, it would have taken all of a couple of minutes to close her onto the deck, but being alone I would have gone up one side and she down the other near the possum. I had seen her pick up the possum in her mouth and didn’t want that to happen again. If the possum was alive, I was afraid Gracie would get bitten. Once I went up the steps and she was back near the possum in about 2 minutes flat so I knew she would have to decide the fun was over.

  3. Birgit Says:

    Speaking of Hedley, have I read the same blog??? Or is my English so bad that didn’t get any hidden serious insults or wrote something that was mistakable? Whom can I tell now that I saw most of the Tottenham-Basel game and that I’m sorry they lost this game? Will we ever get to know whether he and Big Rick will make it around the lake?
    Questions upon questions, sadly without answers…
    Great choice of songs!
    The possum story is funny. An exciting night for you and Gracie. Perhaps a possum with narcolepsy? I don’t think we have possums over here. Last year I nearly buried a deeply sleeping pigeon, I had already dug the hole.

    • Kat Says:

      No, they were in the comment section. I would never write anything in my blog which has even a hint of offensiveness except maybe to the republicans!

      I know! I know!! I’m hoping we can lure him back! He has me following Tottenham and then he deserts me.

      Thanks on the songs!

      The possum story was quite unfunny when I couldn’t figure out how to solve it by myself. Good thing Gracie came to me. I think the two tined garden fork must have been funny!

      • Chris Says:


        As an Englishman myself I must admit most of the comments were lost on me, and it a shame Hedley took offence. But as an Arsenal supporter I must urge you not to start supporting Tottenham. That would be beyond the pale.


      • Kat Says:

        You gave me a laugh!

  4. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I’m surprised and sad that Hedley will not be visiting. I enjoyed his comments greatly.
    I think my English must be bad as well. ;(

    The possum story was funny. Gracie dropped it when you screamed? If it had been my old dog Tegan, that would have been a truly dead possum. My screaming would have made no impression on her at all.

    It’s a weird sort of day up here. Partly cloudy, cool. I’m hanging around waiting for a person to give me an estimate on lawn mowing. Once again I am in the market for a factotum.

    Enjoy the rest of the day.

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I am very sad at losing my friend Hedley. The problem was in the comment sections, not the blog itself.

      Gracie was shocked that I was a screaming, raving maniac with a two tined fork and a hoe.

      Weird day here too-it was nice and sunny this morning and now quite cloudy and cold. I have a landscaper for that-one more part of my staff!!

  5. olof1 Says:

    Yes, You would definitely be one of the first to die in a horror movie .-) 🙂 🙂 I’ve laughed so much reading this 🙂 🙂 🙂

    The only thing I knew about possums when I grew up was that they were masters of playing dead, they do have a good rival over here too though, the raccoon dog. Rarely seen but when they are most people are convinced they are dead. One can even lift them up and still it just keeps on playing dead 🙂

    To bad about Hedley! I’ll miss him a lot! I do hope people will listens and learn from this so he comes back again! I’m an Anglophile even if I’ve never really been to Britain 🙂 I never see anything wrong with that country, well except for a certain lady that no longer is with us 🙂

    Have a great day!

    • Kat Says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed my possum story!!

      I haven’t ever of a raccoon dog, but I did go looking and found some great pictures. They are beautiful. I couldn’t find anything about their playing dead. I’ll look again later.

      I love England and most especially London. It was always a stop for me when i went to Europe, if even for the weekend on my way home.

      Enjoy your evening!

  6. im6 Says:

    No Hedley? This is a new and very surprising development to me. Who will I spar with? I can’t believe he would take any comments here that seriously considering the give and take he and I have been known to participate. But then, I think he knows OUR barbs back and forth are all in good fun. Can’t believe anyone here would be malicious in their comments ’cause this just isn’t that kind of place. If he’s gone from Coffee, I’ll miss his presence (even though I don’t follow — much less care — about his football teams!). I’m just glad we’ve been able to develop a friendship apart from Coffee, so I won’t be losing track of him. I just hope he’s playing possum!

    • Kat Says:

      I am hoping Hedley will be back. The comments were not part of any give and take. Yours are in good fun, and I know hedley enjoys them and always believes he bests you!!

      Ha! I too hope is is playing possum!

  7. Coleen Burnett Says:

    Hey Kat!

    Very sad about Headley. When I was growing up I was told the name Burnett was a regular Heinz57 – – the name came with all sorts of nationalities. That includes the British, French, Irish, Scotch, Aussies, Welsh and just about anybody else. So I was raised for respect for everybody.

    Can’t see where this blog insults anybody. Just sayin’…

    Waving from a great day in Jersey – –


    • Kat Says:

      Hi Coleen,
      I was never taught to disrespect anyone. We too came from all over the place despite the Irish name.

      It isn’t the blog itself but some comments which were made more than a few times.

      Finally waving back from a sunny Cape Cod!

  8. im6 Says:

    In years past, you’ve told us about volunteering at the Boston Marathon. I’m guessing (hoping) you didn’t this year. And if you did, I never heard you mention being close to the finish. I hope you weren’t there and if you were, I hope you’re okay. This breaking news is simply senseless.

    • Kat Says:

      I am usually working at that very area where the explosions took place. I always worked one of the tents at the Copley Square area right at the end of the marathon. My back has been so bad that I didn’t volunteer this year.

      • im6 Says:

        Happy for you. Unhappy for who knows how many others. I’m glued to the TV still trying to understand how anyone could do something like this. It’s usually in some foreign country and we (however unfounded) think nothing like this can happen here. Then this… and all the killings of law enforcement officers in Texas. Lori is always waving to you…. I’m shaking my head your way.

      • im6 Says:

        Oh no! The news is getting grimmer and grimmer.

      • Kat Says:

        I have it on now. The rest of the marathon has been cancelled, and there are always so many runners at this time of the day. I used to work a water station until well after 5 and there were always runners still on the course.

        I’m with you. How could anyone do something like this? Why?

        I’m shaking my head as well. One explosion may have been an accident but there were two which then sounds planned.

      • Kat Says:

        The medical tents are on the right a bit beyond the finish line. Besides doctors and nurses, there are lots of volunteers who work those tents so people who were hurt were reached quickly.

        Of all places, it is the finish line which has the most spectators, sometimes in rows 4 and 5 deep. Along the rest of the route, the spectators are sparser.

        Many hospitals are also very close to this area.

  9. Pat Says:

    I too am happy that fate protected you and you didn’t go this year. Hate to say – it was the first thing I thought of when I heard the news. Now there are others to pray for…….

    • Kat Says:

      Thank you, Pat.

      I am not generally grateful for my back pain but I am today. Sadly, it seems there are many which need prayers.

  10. greg mpls Says:

    odd how blessings come. who ever thought a bad back
    could be a blessing in disuise.

    • Kat Says:

      I’ll stop complaining. I was disappointed I couldn’t work as I have for so many years. Now I am thankful.

  11. im6 Says:

    Intended to ask… do you usually work the Marathon with the same volunteers each year? Have you heard from any of them? Hope all are well and damn glad you have a bad back!

    • Kat Says:

      I work with some of the same people and lots of new ones each year. The one I know well is fine. He wasn’t anywhere near the explosion as he had moved down Copley to another site.

      I never though I’d be thankful for my bad back!!

      • im6 Says:

        Hedley asked about you and is happy to hear you’re safe and sound. He also gave me the name of the poster who worked his last nerve. Bad boy. Bad bad boy who should be ashamed!

      • Kat Says:

        I’m glad you let Hedley know I’m okay.

        I was an assistant principal who learned to have a stiff back when it came to words. They could only offend if I let them. I guess that is why I ended my career still liking kids.

  12. Vintage Spins Says:

    Hi Kat,

    I did read your comment about not being able to get into my blog, as I was going back trying to figure out which comments had offended Hedley (though I couldn’t spot them.) I don’t know why you suddenly couldn’t get in, but I’ll send you another invite.

    I’m devastated to hear about the bombings at the marathon. How very fortunate you were to miss the event this year.

    I guess I still feel a little like an outsider myself here on KTCC, as you all seem to know each other so well. It’s a bit like looking through the schoolyard fence at all the other kids playing together and not being sure how to join in. It had me examining the comments I’ve left, but I don’t recall ever saying anything negative about England. (That would be highly unlikely, as I love the country more than I do my own!)

    As he’s a long-time regular on KTCC, I hope Hedley doesn’t let a few ill-considered comments drive him away from his friends.


    • Kat Says:

      Hi Marie,
      I’m glad you got it. I didn’t have your e-mail so I couldn’t write.

      The bombings are horrific. I will never understand how anyone can do something like this and maim and kill people. I am usually at the spot where all this occurred but across the street on the same aside as the medical tent.

      You have been perfectly pleasant and you are already part of the family!

      I too hope Hedley returns.

      • Vintage Spins Says:

        Thanks for that, Kat!

        Violence to further any sort of cause is beyond my comprehension, but especially so when absolutely innocent people are targeted. The perpetrator is without a conscience – the scariest sociopaths out there.

        I’ve sent im6 an invite. Hope he enjoys the music.


      • Kat Says:

        im6 and marie,
        I left the e-mail on your site, Marie, and im6, you’ll enjoy Marie and her music!

        I love introducing my friends to one another!!

    • im6 Says:

      Sorry you feel like an outsider, Marie. It’s not like any of us actually know each other in real life (although it DOES seem, after 9 years?, that I’ve known Kat all my life). I’m lobbying Hedley to return and he’s considering it after a break and his trip to the homeland. PS. I tried to Google Vintage Spins as a blog, but can’t find it an see nothing like it in Kat’s listings. Care to share?

      • Kat Says:

        You’ll enjoy Marie’s blog. I’ll testify as to your character!! She’ll need your e-mail to send you an invite. I’ll go by her blog now and leave my testimony and your e-mail!!

      • im6 Says:

        Thanks, Kat! I look forward to making a new friend!

    • Kat Says:

      I can’t explain it. I got in today and listened then commented. I wet back just now and was excluded from the site again. I’m beginning to get a complex. I didn’t save the invite, how foolish of me! I hope you can figure out what is going on. I have a Google account so that isn’t the problem.

      Do I need to be better dressed?

  13. sprite Says:

    I don’t respond often and read the comments others leave only slightly more frequently, but there are names who are familiar, of course, after all these years. I add mine to those who hope that Hedley will return after his vacation and that all of us will write here with kindness (even if it is periodically a kindly elbow in the ribs).

    And I echo the others in being glad that your back kept you home today. Sometimes it is the oddest twists of fate that turn into great blessings. My heart goes out to those who were not so lucky today.

    • Kat Says:

      I like an elbow in the ribs! I tell you all my foibles, falls and weird experiences and am never surprised when I get a laugh as much of what happens to me is laughable.

      Thank you. I have never been happier to be in pain.

  14. Birgit Says:

    Like all others I’m glad you are not in Boston today. Really bombs and not an accident -Why this senseless violence??? So sorry! Switched TV to CNN as soon as I read im6′ comment. Besides the sad news I also had to think about his “It’s usually in some foreign country…”. I’ve never been to Massachusetts and live on another continent, but Boston isn’t so far away now than it was before I started to read your blog. Another benefit of KTCC, you somehow change geography. Back to CNN, hopefully the news are not getting any worser.

    • im6 Says:

      Birgit, I hope my comment about “some foreign country” wasn’t taken as some sort of condemnation. It’s just that, for the most part, the US has been fairly lucky (9/11 not withstanding) with few roadside bombs, etc. I’m sure we take our safety for granted. Or did. Maybe no longer depending on what we find out about who did this and why. And you’re so right — KTCC has certainly made the world seem a lot smaller as we gain friends we’d never make otherwise. Again, I apologize if my remarks came across as condescending or a slap in the face to distant places and citizens of other countries around the world. We’re all brothers and sisters and I respect you all.

      • Birgit Says:

        im6, no need to apologize, I hadn’t even thought of condemnation or similar. I was glad and shocked to hear that something happened in Boston and I remembered watching CNN on 9/11. Back then it was sad news in a “foreign country” but now it is sad news in Boston/Mass., which is -thanks to KTCC- more familiar now than NY ever was. Watching CNN was different now.
        As you and most people of my generation over here I also take our safety for (too?) granted, we haven’t witnessed WWII and the cold war is over now.

    • Kat Says:

      I don’t get it at all. Marathon Day is always such fun. Today is a holiday in Massachusetts: Patriot’s Day. The Red Sox play at 11 so as not to interfere with the marathon, and the city is crowded with people. Along the route the spectators cheer the runners no matter how far back they are, and they offer encouragement. I can’t imagine why this was done.

      The number of injured keeps rising, up to 105. I am so saddened by this senseless violence,

  15. Vintage Spins Says:


    I often wish that I could create an environment like Kat does here, but, alas, it just isn’t in me. I hope you enjoy some of the music that I post on my blog, though.


  16. minicapt Says:

    I blame the incessant coverage of the Boston foot coverings clique …


  17. Spaceman Says:

    Clowers & possums

  18. Beto Says:

    Oh, that I with idle jest have marked a shadow
    Above the worried brow of any I call friend.
    Who would with that same fidelity as Cardinals,
    red winged,
    Set upon a stand of sunflowers, knowing well that their fellowship
    Cannot stop the breeze or season
    Nor alter in it’s Majesty The Celestial Path of Ra.
    Where in such place mark the surety that mortal bonds are soon loosed
    And all we have is but a vapor,
    Left here only to comfort one another in our shared affliction.

    • Kat Says:

      My favorite lines are, “Set upon a stand of sunflowers, knowing well that their fellowship Cannot stop the breeze or season.” It is the stand which matters.

      Shared affliction indeed.

  19. Rita Says:

    Hi Kat,
    I was just checking in to make sure you were safe! I know you used to work at the marathon, and I was hoping you were safe at home. Praise God!

    • Kat Says:

      Hi Rita,
      I know! The one year I don’t work. My bad back is now a blessing!! Thanks for checking.

  20. Rose Says:

    Just checking to make sure you are safe. I immediately thought of you when I saw the breaking news in Boston…. So glad and relieved that you are safe!

    Cheers from Vancouver, Canada

    • katry Says:

      Thanks for checking, Rose! I am so relieved my bad back kept me home this year. Sometimes blessings come disguised!

  21. Cuidado Says:

    My first feeling at the news of the Boston Marathon tragedy was relief that I knew you weren’t there. Would you dare thank the bad back. I thanked my doctor who didn’t realize my arm was broken for 6 weeks. It is how our lives are supposed to happen.

    I belong to another ‘internet family’ with my Shutterchance blog. It too has developed into members communicating otherwise, meeting one another, and one marriage. These are serious relationships in real communities. Could you speak with the person on Hedley’s behalf?

    I have never seen a ‘possum, don’t even know if we have them here or not. I would not like the interruption in my night. No wonder you have a heart problem!

    • Kat Says:

      I do thank the back I have been cursing for weeks. I would have been right down the street from that first bomb.

      I will speak with the person as I suspect that person didn’t realize what was happening.

      Possum are the ugliest of animals. Look at one on Google images. They are night wanderers. A baby used to come on the deck and hide behind the deck box and drove Gracie crazy. Another time one stayed in a tree and Gracie was a bit crazed. This one she had in her mouth. They have these scary looking teeth.

      Life with Gracie is always interesting!

  22. MT C Says:

    I, too, will miss Hedley. I thought he had a great sense of music and humor and added a lot to your blog. I hope he keeps in touch. I got to razz the English in Kuwait, after all they did have the major influence in the country for many years. But it was always face to face and they knew I was playing with them. Too bad some are so closed and thoughtless.


    • Kat Says:

      I am hoping he will return after his trip to England. He is keeping in touch so for that I am happy. I always tease hi but he knows it is teasing.

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