I loved the smell of coffee. To my seven-year-old nose it smelled rich and exotic. I’d come to recognize that when the scent of coffee was in the air, it meant that Mom and Daddy were in the kitchen having breakfast, or that company was visiting. Tasting it was out of the question, though, so I never tried. Mom said coffee was for grownups and, “Besides, it’s bitter and you wouldn’t like it.”
Daddy had milked our herd of cows before I’d even slid out of bed that morning, so he needed a good breakfast. Why he drank bitter coffee with it, I just wasn’t sure. There had to be something wonderful about it other than its great smell.
After having his breakfast, Daddy backed the family car out of the garage and patiently waited for us children to get in so he could drive us to school. I was in first grade that spring.
Our school and church were together in one big brick building. Next to it, looking for all the world like a very large farmhouse, was a three-story convent where the sisters who taught us lived. Continue reading