365 Days of Earrings

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

In Praise of Caffeine

This is how I start my day: with a big cup of coffee. Well, to be accurate, I feed the cats, grind the French roast beans, pour the cold well water into the coffee maker, set it to STRONG BREW, and renew my water-loving soul with a shower while my coffee brews.

Then I pour my coffee, smooth it with a fulsome dash of half-and-half, and begin to sip.

With each sip, I feel more alert, more energized, more focused. I freely admit that I am adicted to coffee. My system expects a dose of caffeine to hook into receptors before 9 AM, or my brain will ache. During my child-bearing years, I endured painful withdrawal before (or early in) each pregnancy.

I bought these earrings last summer when I visited Kevin Abbott at his attic studio in Bellefonte, PA with my daughter Phoebe. He showed us the process he uses to affix his drawings to recycled cardboard; he let us use his die-cut machine to make the perfect cuts; he explained how he coats the cardboard with a sealant; he showed us trays of earrings drying in a simple dehydrator; and then he led us down the road to see his vast array of Jababo earrings, ready for shipping across the country to nature centers, science museum gift shops, and other specialty vendors. As we headed to the car, I said to Phoebe, "Can you believe I forgot to take my camera?" Oh, well. Visiting Kevin was one of the highlights of my summer. What a joy to see someone who lives simply, creates beautiful and inspiring jewelry, and runs a small business that helps others in his community. Check out his website at http://www.jabebo.com/.

That first cup of coffee disappears as I eat my breakfast. I fill my travel mug with another cup, and hit the road. The Caribou Coffee slogan is wearing off, but the message still makes me smile:

Life is short.
Stay awake for it.

Today, caffeine bolstered me during meetings. Tomorrow, it will help prepare me for my first day of a new school year.

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