Monthly Archives: April 2014

No Coffee; no Way!

Andrea Freedman

There are some simple pleasures in life I would never even consider giving up. One of the things at the top of that list is my morning coffee. It is something that actually makes me look forward to getting out of bed. It starts the morning right and sets the tone for the rest of my day.

That time in the morning is one of the nicest parts of my day, especially if the sun is shining and the temperature is warm enough that I can sit on my balcony while drinking my coffee. On a cold or rainy morning, I sometimes drink coffee in bed while watching the morning news on TV.

A friend of mine once told me, “I don’t drink coffee when I’m on vacation.”  Personally, coffee is one of the last things I want to take a holiday from. I would not want to deprive myself of something I enjoy so much, especially when I’m on vacation.

I can understand someone wanting to give up something like smoking cigarettes but not coffee! It actually irritates me when I hear people tell me they are trying to give it up. (Hmm, I wonder if a little less caffeine would help to lessen my irritation.)

On mornings when I have had to wake up early, my husband has set up the coffee for me the night before, the timer set to brew just when my alarm is about to go off. On those days I literally wake up and smell the coffee.

I was attending university when I first acquired a taste, as well as a need, for coffee. Before that I didn’t even like it. I discovered that it was the only thing that helped me wake up, especially since I had to leave home ridiculously early to make it to school in time for my classes. From that time on, the most important things on my grocery list have been coffee, cream and sugar.

There is no point in me trying to do anything, talk to anyone or think straight until I have spent that time having my morning coffee. Without it I am not fully coherent. Even though I admit to having developed a dependency on coffee, I don’t think it is necessarily such a bad thing.

On the rare occasions when I have had to stay overnight at someone’s house, I find it unbearable if they don’t let me have that crucial few minutes in the morning to have a coffee, without talking my ear off or asking me to help out in some way. Worse still, is staying at someone’s house that does not drink coffee or have it in the house. I have learned to always pack an emergency jar of instant coffee. It is not my first choice but it’s better than nothing. If I am going to be staying at a hotel, I always check first to make sure there is a coffee-maker in the room.

It is clear that coffee is an important part of my daily routine. I don’t know what I would do without it, and I don’t plan on finding out any time soon. As long as it is readily available to me when I wake up, and I don’t have to do anything or talk to anyone before I have a chance to drink it, I will start my day with a smile on my face. And in case anyone’s asking, I’ll take a dark roast please.♦



Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2014


Not in the Cards

Andrea Freedman

Although I am a writer, the one thing I find most difficult to write is a greeting card. I often leave the signing of it to the very last minute. I am always relieved when I have finally done it. When it comes to composing a personal message, this is one area in particular where I experience writers’ block.

Funny enough, I have never been one to procrastinate, including when it comes to buying gifts. However, no matter how organized I think I am, signing a card is one thing that I always seem to leave until the last minute.

I can’t bring myself to just sign the darn thing, no matter how much it weighs on me. The right moment has to come for me to finally sit down and write a heartfelt message.

It seems like every time I turn around there is another occasion that calls for a card. While I am grateful that I have people in my life to send cards to, in recent years, I have cut the card giving down to only close friends and family, and often only for a milestone birthday. I have no problem calling a person on the phone and extending my good wishes verbally.

The one time in my life where I did not have any trouble writing out and mailing cards – and on an impressively timely basis if I do say so myself – was to thank people for engagement and wedding gifts when my husband and I got married.

Some might say that the card companies have done the work for us by coming up with most of what we are trying to say on a greeting card. Nonetheless, although it would be easy to write the same generic words on every card I send, I try to put a little variety or something different into each one. Especially if it is someone I send a birthday card to every year. This may sound a bit far-fetched, but I have imagined one of these people taking out the card I sent them the previous year and comparing it with the current one.

There are the standard phrases. But I feel like people I do send cards to expect more from me. I don’t want to be generic. I hope that everything I write, including something as simple as a card, sounds sincere and original. Certain people I know might even be insulted if the only thing I wrote was “Happy Birthday.” When I think about that, I know it is absurd. The person should be happy I thought to send them a card in the first place, regardless of whether or not I decide to compose a whole essay to go along with it. After all, some people simply sign their name and that’s that, and it is not preceded by the words ‘love’, ‘fondly’ or anything else.

I wonder if the recipients of the cards I send even appreciate them or the thought – not to mention the time I spend agonizing over what to write – that goes along with them. While I myself have kept many of the cards I have received over the years for sentimental reasons, there are others who have no problem tossing them right in the garbage. Personally, I still think it is a lot nicer to open the mailbox and find a card inside, rather than a bill.

With another big family birthday coming up, I spent the last few days staring at yet another card that had been waiting for my signature. I finally found the right card, which was not an easy task itself. Here I thought I got it well in advance of the occasion; all of a sudden I looked at the calendar and realized in a panic that my time had almost run out.

And then, just like all my other articles, stories and blog posts, something hit me and I knew exactly what I wanted to write on the card. It all finally came together. Just in time the card has been sealed and – most importantly – signed! All I have to do now is get around to buying a stamp. ♥



Copyright © by Andrea Freedman 2014