“Strange how the bitterness of coffee makes life sweet.”

The sky is cloudy, and the day feels damp. It is a blah day, a day for staying home cozy and warm. I did go out to pick up my Mother’s Day dinner, the only item on my to-do list. I am treating myself. Dinner tomorrow will be steamers, fish chowder, salad, cole slaw and the crowning glory, lobster. Did I mention cheese cake is dessert?

For Mother’s Day, I always gave my mother a gift certificate to the nursery. She had window boxes below the front windows and filled them every year. I remember the red flowers and the trailing ivy. My mother also had a small garden next to the house, below the kitchen windows. A statue of St. Francis held seeds for the small birds. We used to kid my mother because her bird feeders attracted pigeons and crows, city birds we told her. Her squirrels were tight rope walkers. They walked across the clothesline to get to the bird feeders hanging off the line. My mother threw out food for the crows. Her backyard was food central for crows, squirrels and pigeons. She got really excited when a different bird flew into the yard. She loved watching my birds with not a pigeon or a crow among them.

When I am traveling, my favorite part of the day is the morning. I love watching places wake up. Mornings smell different. Here this time of year mornings smell green. In Ghana mornings smell of charcoal smoke. In Europe I liked to walk before breakfast. I could smell the exhausts of all the trucks lined up on the street for delivery to the stores before they open. White exhaust smoke was in the air. If I happened on a bakery, I’d buy a croissant and munch as I walked. Back at the hotel it was breakfast time, coffee time.

My father hated European breakfasts except for Ireland and England. My mother loved them. She was a seagull. She always ate odd things together. She loved cucumber sandwiches and cold hot dogs. At our hotels, the different cold cuts and breads put out for breakfast were perfect for her and me. My father said it was lunch. He wanted eggs. He didn’t get them except for hard-boiled. That always disappointed him.

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6 Comments on ““Strange how the bitterness of coffee makes life sweet.””

  1. Bob Says:

    Hi Kat,

    I agree with your father’s assessment of the continent breakfast served in European hotels. I agree with him about the full English breakfast. They can keep the beans but the rest is very good. Now I know the origin of the American style breakfast.

    Today the sky is mostly clear but the wind is blowing strongly from the south and gusty. The temperature is around 85° and my daughter and wife have already gone swimming. I don’t even go into the pool until the end of June.

    Unfortunately, my mother passed away in 1961 so Mother’s Day hasn’t been a holiday I have celebrated in a long time. I took my daughter out this morning to buy my wife a gift and a card. My wife has informed me that she doesn’t want flowers because of her allergies and she is very particular with meals as she is on a low carb diet.

    I refer to all the holidays after Easter until Independence Day as Hallmark Holidays, designed to sell greeting cards. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Bob,
      Not only can they keep the beans but also the broiled tomato served with an English breakfast. I am also not a fan of English bacon.

      In more countries than not, breakfast is not a different meal. What is served at breakfast is the same as the other meals of the day. The big exceptions are former British colonies.

      I celebrate the memories of my mother. That was nice to take your daughter out to buy a gift and card. My father used to say she wasn’t his mother.

      Memorial Day is not a Hallmark holiday.

      For you the cynic: Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1907. Hallmark sent its first card ten years later. What did the poor people do without Hallmark?

      • Bob Says:

        Yes, the broiled tomato isn’t terrible, just not very appetizing. However, their bacon is different and similar to Canadian bacon. I love fresh bread and all those Continental breakfasts contained lots of great bread, fresh butter and great cheeses.

        I forgot about Memorial Day. Of course I’m cynical about the minor holidays. And, I didn’t know that Mother’s Day came 10 years before Hallmark Cards. It must have been that other forgotten card company that was merged into a new card company called Hallmark that invented Mother’s and Father’s Day. 🙂

      • katry Says:

        I didn’t check Father’s Day, but I know Mother’s Day celebrations predated the sending of cards.

        The company started out selling postcards with greetings. I know how popular holiday post cards were as I have collected a few dating from the early 1900’s. I use them as holiday decorations.

        I think British bacon is limp. I don’t think Canadian bacon is. France is where they serve the freshest, most wonderful breads at breakfast.

  2. Christer. Says:

    The rain came much earlier than they guessedn yesterday so we only took a short walk this morning. The rain will continue to fall for a big part of the day but I don’t mind.

    As You know I’m a morning person and I love to walk around in cities before it really wakes up. The smells are so different abroad than they are here at home though. Walikg the streets of Paris is something I enjoee especially much, it is however a miracle if one don’t get lost at least one time every walk 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,

      I never mind rain this time of year either. I figure all the flowers have a good reason to grow when they get rain. We had a nice day but it stayed a little chilly.

      I love the early morning walks in unfamiliar cities. They do smell different, and they also sound different. In Ghana, add roosters to my every morning when I lived there.

      Enjoy your Monday!!

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