Tuesday, January 2, 2007


The first day back at work after a long break is always a shock. No more sleepy mornings snuggling deep under a comforter, without even a toe brave enough to creep into the cold morning air. No more late breakfasts that stretch into lunch. No more reading books late into the night or midnight movies. Holiday breaks are lovely and sometimes decadent, but unfortunately they cannot last forever. Eventually we must be brave and face those regular routines that, after all, pay for our vacation.

There is no need to suffer, though. There must be a way to easy back into the grind, to create a semblance of dignity to the rude awakening of a back-to-work schedule. Coffee served in a favorite mug fills that need for me. No sissy sugar or cream. No hazelnut or mocha. Just pure coffee, black and strong, points the way through the fog.

I like the ritual of selecting just the right mug, heating the espresso machine, waiting for that familiar sound of water pressing through beans. I like the look of steam rising off a perfect crema. Mostly, I like the jolt of caffiene finding its way into my consciousness.

Call me a java junky. I can live with that.

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