Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What would you do....

if the Universe handed you a cup of coffee?

About mid-morning, I head out to Tim Horton's drive - thru to pick up coffee for Hubby and I. We started this ritual years ago when raking leaves in the fall. Raking leaves was a days-on-end task. So we'd start out early in the morning and still be at it until supper time.

Of course, we'd take breaks for meals, or if the weather turned cold or wet. But most of the time we were lucky enough to have sunny, cool days in which to clean up our property.

Mid-morning we'd lean our rakes by the side of the garage, hop into the car and escape to our favourite coffee and doughnut shop. In those days, I'd even eat doughnuts too. Today, it's far easier to put weight on than to take it off! So, I skip the doughnuts.

The sun was shining brightly this morning, as I ran my errands and drove on over to Tim's.
"Two medium coffees" I gave my order, "one double-double, and the other one black with 2 cream on the side".

Now I'm very fussy about my coffee. I order it black (the cream on the side is for hubby - he luuuves cream). At home I put some homogenized milk in the bottom of my cup, heat it in the microwave for 25 seconds, and then pour in the coffee. I used to drink cream in coffee years ago, but now take milk. Not 1% or 2%, but the regular homo milk.

"Here you are," the lady handed me the coffee with a nice smile (the lady was smiling, not the coffee).
"Oh, you forgot the cream on the side", I reminded her.
"No, I put it inside the coffee."

"Eeks! Sorry, but it has to be black." There is no way I could drink their 18% cream!
"Oh, no problem." She handed me a fresh cup. "Why don't you just keep the other one."

I must have looked surprised.
"Sure, I'd only have to dump it down the drain. Give it to a friend."
"Thank you!"

Hmmm. Now what do I do? We certainly can't drink all this coffee. Who can I give it to? Do I stop someone on the street? I think not. But there is still a construction crew working on our water pipes over on the next street. Do I park the car, walk over and see if anyone would like a coffee? Well, they might think I'm crazy for one thing.
Or they might think I'm after one of the crew (ha ha....not!)

No, I don't think I'll do that.
I like passing on gifts, unexpected freebies, but maybe I should just enjoy this one. Bask in the glow of getting something for free. And then pass it on at a later date.

O.K., but we really can't drink all this coffee.

Alright, I'll tell you what (I was having this conversation to myself while driving home - good thing nobody could hear me), if the construction crew is near my house, where they can see me driving home (so they don't think I'm a crazy lady - they know where I live), I'll give it away. If there is nobody working nearby, Hubby will drink it later in the day.

Guess how it turned out?
Nobody was working near the house, so we (Hubby actually) got to enjoy an extra cup of coffee.

Now tell me......what would you do?


Hilary said...

Really good question. And the way you posed it initially, got me thinking.

If the Universe offered me something, I'd want to make a similar offering. I understand your dilemma though. I think I'd have accepted it under those circumstances (I don't like cream in my coffee either) and made a point of repaying the Universe before a day or two had passed. I think I'd try to get some food delivered to the local food bank or I'd bring a box of Timbits to a retirement home.. or something similar.

The simple act of a free coffee made a big impression on you. Passing that forward in some way would make it all the more special. Great post, Wendy. :)

Grammy said...

How wonderful. Was hubby excited to get an extra cup. I love how you wanted to pass on the joy to another. That is awesome.You are such a wonderful person.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great post, Wendy.... It's hard to give away ONE cup of coffee --unless you see ONE person standing somewhere alone. SO--I think you did the right thing by taking it home. I'm sure after all of that raking, your hubby probably appreciated that extra cup of coffee....

Did you get all of the leaves??? We finally have most of ours UP--and there are very few leaves left on the trees. Yeah!!!!! Let winter begin.


Ruth said...

Looking at all the leaves in a previous post!...you do have a lot of raking to do. Tim's coffee heats up well later in the microwave. I think you did well. You can always treat someone else another time if you want.

Beth Niquette said...

There are a lot of homeless people in Salem. I think I'd hand them that steaming cup of java. I know they'd appreciate such a gesture this cold and windy wintery day.

Rose said...

This is such an easy question for me, Wendy--I'm such a coffee fiend, I'd easily drink both! But how nice of you to think of giving it to someone else.

I really admire your self-control, Wendy--I think raking leaves all morning would merit a doughnut, calories or not:)

Maggie May said...

Well...... I wouldn't be in this position in the first place because I am strictly a TEA drinker! And I drink masses of the stuff!

Nuts in May

nadia said...

OH I LOVE THIS POST!! i am very particular about my mochas from starbucks anyone that knows me knows how i like it -grande soy iced mocha with extra ice so when the barista hands it over you can immediately tell by the color if it is done right! it is very funny how my friends would speak up for me even when i was not there if they are ordering for me - they would say no that can't be right, i am also particular about the sequence in which the ingredients gets put in the cup! so needless to say i have been offered a few freebies- and just like you i get excited everytime Really i say, then i also proceed to have a conversation wi th myself and list of who i will give it to and most of the time depends on where i am headed or i look around the cafe and see if i recognized anyone! i do have to say for every freebie i get i also see the barista take my drink back poor it in the sink and disregard the plastic cup/lid and straw and start all over( that is only if i have not brought my travel cup with me) and that really upsets me can't they just pass it along to someone else or atleast reuse my cup?

i love that you got excited and that you do not take these things in for granted and as for your hubby i have drank the freebie many times even if it ws not exactly right!!

ps. giving a coffee to a construction worker that works right by your house might have thought it was an invitation:)!!

oh i have gone on and on!!

Cheryl said...

Well Wendy....I have two weaknesses coffee and chocolate. I would have drunk it, without any hesitation. I do not drink a lot of coffee, so for me, two cups would have been a realy treat......it doesn't hurt once in a while, does it?
Why am I typing as though I have just drunk it.....such a vivid imagination......

Wendy said...

Great idea Hiliary, I'll donate some food to a food bank. I usually give some at our local grocery store (there's a big box in the entranceway), but I haven't put anything in there lately.

Hi Grammy - so are you!

Hi Betsy, I was thinking about that too - how do you give away just one cup of coffee?
No, Hubby doesn't rake anymore. We have a lawn service. It was too much for me to do alone.

Hi Ruth - that's exactly what we did. Heated it up later on.

Hi Beth - great idea. We live in the country - no homeless people here.

Hi Rose, - no I don't rake leaves any more. There are way too many and my shoulders would suffer from the repetitive movements.
Coffee's a good way to start the day, don't you think?

Hi Maggie May - o.k. what would you do if it was tea? Hmmmm?

Hi Nadia - wow! And I thought I was picky!! I know how generous you are, I can just picture you turning around in the coffee shop to offer a stranger the coffee that was made in error.

Hi Cheryl, I can truly understand. I also love coffee and chocolate, although there is a limit to how much I can drink. Strange how bodies are. When I was pregnant I couldn't stand coffee. Now, I can only drink so much and then I have to stop. I guess it's a good thing.
Yes, what an imagination! I'll send you some cybercoffee right away! Oh, and some chocolate too! Yum!

mxtodis123 said...

Great story, Wendy. When I was going for my training to be a substance abuse counselor, there was a Starbucks across the street. My class was small, only five of us and once a week we would treat ourselves to the fancy chocolate coffee drink with all the whip cream. I don't do Starbucks so I forget what it's called. Well, one our group went across the street to get our orders and came back with the 5 coffee drinks...and our money. Turns out the the manager in the Starbucks was once an addict and was now in recovery...thanks to treatment...and this was his way of giving back...and he offered to do it whenever we went to his store.

Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord said...

Oh gosh, when I was still working that happened to me a few times and I ended up bringing the drink to work and sending out a mass email to whoever showed up in my office first. These days, I'm not sure what I'd do! Probably have a conversation in my head like you did, and ... save it for later, as well?

What a cool story, though! And of course, GREAT picture.

Shammickite said...

If I didn't see a person walking by themselves, I'd probably take it home where it would be warmed up and consumed later. Tim's coffee is always good!

Beverly said...

drink it myself..... I drive by Stardollars every day I work for a jolt of coffee. Today when i went by, the guy asked me if I got my change back yesterday. Well, I don't remember!!! He said he is s;ure I didn't and gives me two dollars back....pretty nice, huh?

femail doc said...

Lots of homeless on the corners here too, so coffee goes to them though tempting to take it home for later in day. Good idea though, think I'll drop a coffee off for a panhandler soon. At holidays, I like to buy the order for the person behind me at Starbucks drive thru.

Abba's Girl said...

I think that since a recipient was not readily available that day, you will be presented with another way to do something kind another day.

Have a blessed weekend!

Wendy said...

Hi Mary - Wow! What a story!! That is so nice. I love hearing stories like that. I think you were talking about a mocha frappuchino.

Hi Megan, it's a nice feeling to give something away, isn't it? The pic was taken in my daughter's back yard. It's berries on her crabapple tree (I think). I just loved those ripe red berried against the blue sky.

Hi Shammickite, I think we're all in agreement with that!

Hey Beverly - that's cool!! Nice every once in a while to be handed an unexpected gift.

Hi Judy, I'm sure the homeless would appreciate a hot drink on a cold day. That's nice of you to pay for the person behind you at Starbucks.

Hi Annette, you're probably right about that. But in the meantime, I've already made a donation to our local food bank.

ramblingwoods said...

I love TH coffee and I too like to put in my own cream if I can..it is actually coffeemate...I guess I would feel funny going up to someone and offering them a coffee as everyone is suspicious of people now... Bet your hubby enjoyed it.. Michelle

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Mustbe Gettingold said...

Hi Wendy -- just discovering your page and reading the backstory. I would LOVE to think I would just walk up to the next stranger and hand it over, but like you, all of these dilemmas about doing that would take me over. It's kind of sad that we can't just trust each other. Ten years ago, I don't think I would have thought about it much. But now, I know I would never have handed it to a man that was within a decade of my age. I have learned about things like that! But hopefully I would be able to talk myself into giving it to a woman or a little old man. Of course, you can never find a little old man when you need one. :)