Decisions, Decisions

The choices written upon the overhead chalkboard menu were many. Staring blankly, I’d become a bit overwhelmed. We’d rambled into the funky coffee house which literally was an old house refurbished for such a time as this. The six-hour round trip to have the grand meet great-grandpa and grandma needed pause, and the aroma within the ambience of the cozy coffee connection brought contentment…or at least it was supposed to.

The traffic outside the front shop window was busy, the two-year-old we had in tow was busy, and the internal dialogue was busy as I read the multiple choices before me.

“What do you want mom?” came the question all too soon. The rest made their decision in no time flat, but it was well beyond me what I was to order.

It should have come easy as I’d spent my fair share behind a counter waiting on customers when younger. One of my favorite jobs held years ago had been that of a waitress. I loved multitasking and overall, the choices for the customers were pretty basic.

I’d often hear the likes of, “I’ll take the daily special.”

“What kind of pie did Bernice make today?” (Bernice was the owner’s mom who was a real gem behind the heart of the apple, blueberry, and banana cream or lemon meringue homemade pies).

“Coffee? Would you like cream with that?”

Now, however, one needed time to decipher the items written overhead. On and on the menu before me loomed like dark storm clouds ready to burst, but the reality was, I was the one about to burst.

First up came the decision to make it either hot or cold. Unless you preferred tea…then the choices were just as numerous. Apparently, it was all about the flavorings for some because there was a whole subculture of those as well.

When he turned to me for the second time, I could feel the pressure and confidently went with the only vocabulary I knew. Caribou had prepared me well. “I’ll have a mocha, hot, with heavy whipping cream please.”

“Did you want that with white, dark, or milk chocolate?”

Feeling my confidence rise, I jumped all over the white chocolate. I’d never had it and truth is…I’ll never have it again. The final question followed quickly. “Did you want that heavy cream instead of the 2%? Or did you just want a little added?”

“Instead of,” I confidently responded as if I knew what I was talking about.

After finding a spot to sit, we pondered the warmth of our drinks and conversation ensued.

“Coffee sure is a fun thing these days. Everyone seems to be so into it, and it’s sort of a quaint ordeal to order something up according to one’s taste,” said one.

“Yes,” said another. “I think in this busy world it’s one way to take pause. Holding a cup of coffee in hand with the waft of warmth rising just feels good and it slows one down.”

Psalm 62:5 captures cozy too. It’s a good one to drink from. “For God alone, O my soul, waits in silence, for my hope is from Him.” Amen.

Kathleen Kjolhaug, OblSB

This article was first published in Theology in the Trenches, a column written by oblate Kathleen Kjolhaug. Posted with permission. Read more articles on her blog, Theology in the Trenches.