I smiled to myself as Dan went about the business of making his morning coffee. We were camped at La Pine State Park in our new (pre-owned) adventure van and had just awakened from a good night’s sleep.
Before leaving town, I had made a couple of last-minute purchases. Coffee was on my short list.
Not being a coffee drinker and not having purchased coffee for several years, I sent a photo to Dan from the grocery store. “What brand or type?” I texted.
“Medium roast,” he responded. “Surprise me!”
And now, here in the early morning woods, Dan was opening the bag with his pocket knife, being careful so he could re-close it with one of those fold-over twisty tie thingies.
“Oh, no,” he said. “These are beans.”
I had inadvertently purchased a bag of coffee beans instead of grounds.
“But it’s medium roast, right?” I said from my perch in bed. Coffee beans. Coffee grounds. What’s the difference?
The difference is, you can’t make coffee from a measure of beans without grinding them first. “Do you have a hammer in your tool bag?” I asked, trying to be helpful.
And so we battened down the hatches at 5:45 AM and drove to the nearest coffee place in the nearest town. Fortified with caffeine, my husband agreed to look for a kiosk that sold Chai latte. But not until after he called me a whiner. Really?!
The remainder of our inaugural camping trip passed glitch-free. We measured and made note of what we could use in the way of storage bins, drawer dividers, a smaller electric teapot.
To some, the space would have been a little cramped, but we were cozy and warm inside with our mugs of hot tea, books, writing materials, and games. And in between raindrops, we hiked on three different trails.
It was luxuriously peace-filled, this time in the woods by the river, falling asleep to the rain pelting our adventure van.
This thought from Brooke Hampton:
If you can’t run away to a cabin in the woods right now, start small.
Make a cup of tea and find a sunset to watch.
Turn off your phone and read a book in the bath.
Go for a drive and blast some great music.
Fight for moments of peace in the midst of the crazy.
You can do that.
Yes, you can do that.
Later, Dan and I noted 3 valuable lessons learned from the caffeine incident:
- Dan: Never trust a non-coffee-drinker or an inexperienced-coffee-purchaser to buy the java.
- Me: Read all the words on the packaging.
- Dan: When it comes to the important issues of life (like coffee), maybe we should communicate a little more clearly.
Clear instructions are kind of important, especially for a novice.
The Apostle Paul provided clear instructions to novice believers in ancient Ephesus. From chapter 4 of Ephesians, he told them to make a clean break from bitterness and anger and trash-talking each other. And then this from verse 32:
Be kind and compassionate to one another. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you.
In his letter, Paul communicated the specifics around what to do and what not to do for the sake of community, and for the sake of the individual’s mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
DON’T be bitter and angry. Don’t throw anyone under the bus. Don’t be mean.
DO be kind. Show compassion. Forgive—because we’re human and we’re going to make mistakes, much larger than purchasing the wrong type of coffee.
Dan and I enjoyed the downsized camping so much that we’re planning to do an extended road trip this summer. This quote from Susan Sontag has become our unofficial mantra:
I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my bucket list.