One lump or two
Well, um . . . none, if you are referring to coffee. Southern-style sweet tea is another thing altogether. I am almost embarrassed to admit how much sugar goes into a gallon of that, but today, I am talking about java – the caffeinated lifeblood for many. In my entire life, I have probably drank about 11 sips of coffee. The last time I tried coffee in my middle 20’s, I became violently ill with the stomach flu and have never touched the stuff again. (There was no direct correlation between my illness and the 3 swallows of coffee I drank that day, but let’s just say the experience left a lasting impression. )
My loathe opinion of coffee has put me in some awkward situations as an adult as it seems many friends want to hold impromptu meetings at one local coffee shop or another. Not my idea of a good time, as the smell sometimes is too much for me. However, I do regularly meet for “coffee and show-n-tell” with some of my favorite octo- and nonagenarians at our favorite gathering spot. I just order a Coke while we visit and share the latest project of our heart and hands work.
Fortunately, I didn’t allow my dislikes to sway my decision to attend “Coffee with Ingeborg” in which the writer Lauraine Snelling would attend clad as her famous book character Ingeborg Bjorklund. During “coffee”, we would have a chance to visit with the determined Ingeborg (and other characters) as well as enjoy wonderful Scandinavian goodies, music, and entertainment.
So what does a non-coffee drinker do when she has the opportunity to “meet” one of her favorite characters? She invites along her sisters-in-law who also have the same addiction to the book series AND who happen to be non-coffee drinkers. We all decided to put on our big girl pants and dive in – even if it meant proving the old adage “Misery loves company” true.
I won’t give away too much about the day, because I believe “Coffee with Ingeborg” might be a regular event for the author. I really detest spoilers; so, I won’t ruin the mystique for the next attendees. We enjoyed the atmosphere, hearing the guests’ questions and the stories shared in response. It was somewhat like a homecoming for me as well, because all of my new writer friends (sans one) were in attendance. Warm smiles across the aisles and later, genuine embraces reminded me that we had been brought together once again as part of God’s miraculous plan.
With my vivid imagination and child-like faith, I could almost picture the novels’ characters aging in time and their children constructing the very building (a memorial hall) where we were visiting. While purely fictional, those characters are based off the faith-filled, hard-working, salt of the earth immigrants that settled the lands of the plains. Even the adorable bathroom curtains were a reminder of the yearned for landmarks that legitimized towns. The dainty lace depicted rolling plains with a schoolhouse and church replete with steeple – both believed by the settlers were necessary to create a better life for their children. Such was the way of the prairie!
We had a delightful afternoon. I cherished the time spent with the sisters (as we seldom do anything together without our kids). We thoroughly enjoyed all seven Norwegian delicacies lovingly prepared by members of the local historical society. And we washed them down with water. Thankfully, imbibing coffee was optional. It’s a good thing too, because if it was a requirement, I would have been looking for a nice houseplant in one of the corners.