16 May 2006

It's Not What You Think

I am not one of those women that walked blissfully away from my paycheck and into stay at home motherhood. I miss work. I miss chatting with my coworkers of every age, ethnicity, and political persuasion. I miss the mental gymnastics. I miss the acknowledgement, in bonuses and higher than average raises, that I am really, really, REALLY good at my job.

Mostly though, I miss the coffee.

No, not that terrible swill you find in the community pot. Coffee. My love affair started in grad school, in the coffee town of Columbus, OH. Small, independent shops abound, a short walk from anywhere I happened to be on campus. But my favorite place was Stauf's Coffee Roasters. That was a drive, but oh so worth it. Coffee from around the world, shipped in green and roasted in 50 pound batches. My friend J and I would take a trip before seminar on Thursdays, with a pocket full of money and a list of orders from half the department.

A move to the southwest, and I had to lower my standards. Great restaurants abound in Las Vegas, but coffee, not so much. The local places were rude, overpriced, or just plain served bad coffee. That green-awninged behemoth, Starbucks, became my coffee oasis in the desert. And at work I made 'coffee friends.' Those of us that could not tolerate the office swill chipped in and got our own. It was not fresh roasted or anything, but a heavy cut above the stuff that comes in a large metal can. We always sipped the first cup around a small table in T's office. I also kept a personal stash of liquid gold, which I would French press in the afternoon on the really tough days. Or J-H and I would make a coffee run to Starbucks, stating our location as 'Building 13' on the sign-out board. We always got away with it too, probably because we never failed to bring back an iced coffee for our phenomenal admin.

Then, California. RURAL California. We did not even have the ubiquitous Starbucks. Another dry desert, again in more ways than one. After about 6 months, I found CA Coffee Roasters, a mail order coffee shop located in Los Angeles. Roast to order, ship the same day. Ah, bliss. And I had several work friends that also craved a decent cup o' joe. N would make the morning pot. In the afternoon M and I would argue, happily, over the cube wall about who would actually make the afternoon pot. I usually 'lost,' though once the coffee was done I would have a fresh cup delivered to my desk, mug pre-heated so as not to cool the coffee.

Now back to my current situation. East coast suburbia, not an independent coffee shop in sight. And no office coffee buddies this time either. I find myself high and dry. The deprivation is made more difficult by the fact that my current, about-to-bear-young condition keeps my coffee habit to a single, mediocre cup a day.

So have a cup for me. I'll join you when I can.

11 May 2006

While you were sleeping

H2 fell asleep in my arms tonight. This is not a regular occurrence. She is deciding that she is too big for all of that. The question is, am I?

In her short life, I have stayed home, worked part time, worked full time, and moved 2600 miles. Maybe I should not be surprised that at just over 2, she seems so old. And of course there is the whole becoming a big sister soon thing. She wants a little sister. Named Bob.

So here I sit, while you sleep. I don't know where all of this will lead, when or how or if I will go back to working for a paycheck. How, exactly, I feel about all of it. For now, I have found my way home, and I am going to stay a while.