At the Coffee Table

Great Grandparents

Coffee: Boiled Arbuckle’s Coffee that came with a free peppermint stick

Table: Upturned bushel basket beside the porch swing

Cups: Blue speckled enamelware

What was handy: “Farmer’s Almanac”

Music: Birdsong accompanied by Uncle Lige playing “In the Good Old Summertime” on the fiddle



Coffee: Percolated Maxwell House

Table: Steamer trunk with a calico cover that matches sofa pillows in the front room

Cups: Blue willow cups that came free in laundry detergent

What was handy: The Holy Bible

Music: “I’ll Fly Away” on the radio



Coffee: Folgers made on the stove in a drip pot

Table: Maple table with lathe-turned legs in front of the sofa in the formal living room

Cups: Floral-printed cups that matched the family dinnerware

What was handy: Huge coffee table picture books intended to impress guests

Music: Glen Miller’s band playing “Chattanooga Choo Choo” on the boxy Hi Fi


My Generation

Coffee: No thank you. Tea, like Oolong or Early Grey

Table: Craftsman-style quarter-sawn oak in the family room

Cups: Cobalt and blue mugs made in pottery class

Handy: Paperback books by Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung

Music: The Kingston Trio’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” on a stereo with six speakers, woofers, tweeters and Dolby sound


The Kids

Coffee: Hand-ground Brazilian beans put through a French press

Table: Japanese ceramic stool at al fresco spot in the garden

Cups: From Ikea

Handy: Macbook Pro

Music: “Let Me Bring You Songs from the Wood” by Jethro Trull on Youtube


The Grandkid

Coffee: Ethiopian espresso

Table: Shared Starbucks’ tables

Cups: Foam

Handy: I-Pad

Music: ?? Can’t hear it; he has ear buds