Recent Posts

  • © Antique Mommy 2005-2017
  • All rights reserved.
  • No One Drops In For Coffee Anymore

    February 22, 2010

    As I was driving home from dropping Sean off at school the other day, I noticed the long line of cars wrapped around Starbucks and the crowded parking lot and I got to thinking how no one drops by for coffee anymore.  It seems that everyone goes to Starbucks instead.

    Friends dropping in for coffee is all but a remnant of another era and I think that is kind of a shame that we aren’t available for spontaneous interaction anymore, that we don’t open our homes for that sort thing, that we are just too busy or that we don’t think our homes perfect enough or clean enough or whatever enough.

    As I have mentioned here before, my parents live in the same house they bought in 1956.  In that time, they have served approximately 23,436 cups of coffee to neighbors, wayfarers, odd-ball relatives and the occasional long-lost friend who just dropped in.  My parent’s coffee pot has been on for 54 years.

    My parent’s kitchen defies everything Southern Living tells us we need to create a warm and welcoming space for visitors.  Their home is not big and bright and you certainly will not find anything new or matching or from Pottery Barn there.  Their kitchen would make Martha Stewart cry.

    The avocado green paneling is circa 1972. The pattern on the linoleum floor is all but worn off and slick from the constant ironing of the rolling chairs. (Aside:  I’ve always thought that chairs with rollers were an interesting choice for a kitchen so small you can reach anything without having to get out of your chair.  And in a 100-year-old house that has settled substantially, rolling chairs on slick linoleum means you could potentially roll out the back door if you are not paying attention.)

    The refrigerator is covered in pictures of grandchildren and great grandchildren and postcards and magnets with wise sayings.  The table is always so cluttered that you have to scooch books and puzzles and prescription bottles aside just so you might carve out four square inches of real estate to set your cup down.  The trick is scooching it all en masse, like a tectonic plate, to just the correct degree, so that whatever is on the other end of the table doesn’t fall off like California into the Pacific.

    The 45-year-old Melmac coffee cups don’t match, nor do any of the not-silverware.

    My mother does not serve fancy or flavored coffee — it’s Folgers or whatever is on sale and if you want cream, it’s store brand Coffeemate.

    Their kitchen is teeny tiny and cramped and cluttered and woefully out of date.  It’s not fancy or comfortable and would not pass the white glove test.

    Nonetheless, people want to go there and hang out for a time and chat,  and they have for more than half a century.  Something there draws ’em in and it ain’t the kitchen or the coffee.

    Must be the conversation and the company.

    64 Comments »

    1. Theresa says:

      Your parents sound like my in-laws, and like we’ve tried to become. Our house has an open door policy–if someone’s home to open the door, anyone is welcome.

      I think I’d like to meet your folks.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 8:20 am

    2. Marilee says:

      I grew up in a very small town in Kansas, my parents would have friends over for dinner or we would go someplace usually 2 nights a week. It’s what we did, conversation, food, laughter, and card games. Great Memories! I thoroughly enjoy being with friends and love spending time in the kitchen preparing a meal!

      February 22nd, 2010 at 8:25 am

    3. Julie M says:

      I’m trying to remember when it was people stopped just dropping in. I miss it.
      Maybe it started when we all went to work and didn’t have the time anymore, and now we’re just out of the habit.

      I think it’s time to start dropping in again.

      Thanks for the reminder…

      February 22nd, 2010 at 8:28 am

    4. Ashleigh (Heart and Home) says:

      We just moved to the tiny town where my husband grew up, from bustling San Diego. Just yesterday I told my husband that it seems, here, that nobody uses the phone to tell each other anything–they just stop by. Doorbells ring throughout the day, and people actually stop long enough to answer them. In San Diego, people don’t even have time to call anymore… contact by email is most common. I wonder what this says about about our society?

      February 22nd, 2010 at 8:28 am

    5. zoom says:

      This made me very nostalgic. My grandparents, aunts and uncles and their friends would converse for hours on end over a pot of coffee. I loved how the conversation topics would hop and skip and twist and dance around subjects large and small.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 8:50 am

    6. The Cotton Wife says:

      I had company for coffee the other day (actually, it was a reporter but I held her hostage and made her talk about girlfriend-stuff). It was glorious.

      I need to do it more often.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 8:51 am

    7. Sarah at themommylogues says:

      My grandma took care of me while my parents were working, and I remember there was always someone coming for coffee. Sometimes I had my own cup.

      * * *
      You know, I love this comment. Your simple words stirred up some really sweet imagery for me. If you haven’t written about this, you should.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 8:56 am

    8. Tater Mama says:

      I love this and have thought the same thing many times about how no one in our generation just drops by for coffee. My mother and her friends drank coffee nearly every afternoon at someone’s house. The kids tagged along and played and listened to the laughter coming from the kitchen. No one worried about taking the hostess something; no one worried about whether her house was perfectly neat; no one worried whether anything matched. They were there for the company and a good cup of coffee.

      We live next to an elderly couple, and it delights me to see friends’ cars in the driveway because I know they’re over there drinking coffee.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 9:19 am

    9. momof8 says:

      Guilty. I never feel like my house is picked up enough for company. I guess if that makes people not like me, I might as well know! Maybe I’ll have to have people over anyway . . . and not wait until I have everything picture perfect. It doesn’t happen often.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 9:21 am

    10. edj says:

      Hey we have an open door policy and our coffee cups are much newer! Drop by for coffee anytime! Because I agree–it’s the company and the conversation that matter, which is why I deal with my friend who drinks coke instead of coffee (I know, weird). And even though I am a coffee snob, I’d be honoured to drink your mum’s Folgers. And when she came to visit me, I wouldn’t be offended when she asked me to fill her cup with half hot water, half coffee 🙂

      February 22nd, 2010 at 9:22 am

    11. Kay says:

      You are so right! No one stops by anymore, but I think it’s because we think we’d be imposing on them. Everyone seems so busy and rushed.

      The last time I felt welcome and non-impositional (is that a word?) when dropping in on someone was with an elderly friend. If not playing bridge somewhere, she was usually watching TV and knitting and I was always welcome to join her. She died suddenly and my dropping in days went away.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 9:32 am

    12. Pam says:

      This so reminds me of my Grandmas kitchen…my mom was a single mom and worked afternoons so I stayed with Gma each night. She had 8 kids and 32 grands…all coming and going from that kitchen. Of course, she waited on her ‘boys’ with a refill before they even asked. Such fun for me being there as a kid.
      My sister and I agree that Heaven must be in my Gma’s kitchen around that old gray metal table.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 9:43 am

    13. Kelly @ Love Well says:

      I didn’t grow up with people stopping by. In fact, I didn’t know anyone still did it until I moved to a tiny town a few years ago and was SHOCKED at a few of my friends saying they had neighbors ring the doorbell and expect to come in.

      I’m big on hospitality. We’ve always had people rotating in and out of our home. And I totally agree that it’s the conversation that’s most important.

      But unscheduled would throw me. Just being honest here. Especially with young children.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 10:00 am

    14. Iota says:

      Don’t you think it’s the car? In Scotland, where I lived before coming to the US, people did still drop in for coffee (not as much as in previous generations, for sure, but they still did a little). But that was because we were out and about, with toddlers in strollers, and passing front doors.

      Just wondering.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 10:02 am

    15. Kai says:

      It may not be exactly the same, but the feeling is similar. My friends and I meet for coffee at Starbucks or a local cafe, sit in the comfy couches and chat for hours. We sometimes meet strangers who join in the conversation or chat up the barristas during a slow period.

      And nobody has to wash the cups afterwards! Except maybe the barrista. 🙂

      February 22nd, 2010 at 10:06 am

    16. renee says:

      Thanks for a different perspective…I have family that is the exact same way, but when I go over I’m so OCD I can’t get past the clutter. I’m missing out on an opportunity for good conversation that probably won’t be around much longer.

      * * *
      I didn’t say I loved the clutter. Truth be told it makes me crazy and growing up in it is the reason my brother and I are neat freaks. I start to twitch after about 30 minutes in my mother’s house. It doesn’t seem to deter visitors though….

      February 22nd, 2010 at 10:07 am

    17. Robinznest says:

      Your mom and dads home sounds like home to me- minus the clutter. Your observation is sad- but true.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 10:21 am

    18. Lynnebee says:

      Wow. That so makes me miss my folks even more now. There was ALWAYS someone over for coffee at their house. That coffee pot was on from 7am until bedtime…when my mom would set it up for the next day! I am guilty of the “my house is a mess” mentality. Thank you for some motivation to make the call, and have someone come by, clutter or not!

      February 22nd, 2010 at 10:35 am

    19. Shelly W. says:

      Growing up on a farm, it felt like people were in and out of our house all day. I liked it. Especially aroung 10:30 when my grandpa would stroll in looking for a cup of coffee and a little something to eat.

      It’s about 10:30 here now, and I’m still in my p.j.s, knowing for sure that nobody will just stop by. So pathetic and sad. Of course, I wouldn’t think of just stopping by anyone else’s house either.

      I miss those days.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 10:45 am

    20. Amy says:

      I love this post.

      My hubby and I are drop in kind-of people, but we are in the minority among people our age. We live in an older neighborhood and have enjoyed many of our elderly neighbors popping by over the years. Slowly, one-by-one, they have passed away, leaving something of a void.

      Sometimes it makes me wish I had been born in another era.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 10:50 am

    21. vickie says:

      this is also my in-laws kitchen. They have eight children and a kaboodle of grandchildren and whenever we stop in we find ourselves crammed into the kitchen. The refrigerator shows how out of town family has grown and changed along with achievements that are posted there. On the side of the refrigerator is a score card of the daily card game between my father-in-law and my mother-in-law. It’s tiny,cramped and so full of love!

      February 22nd, 2010 at 10:50 am

    22. debbie says:

      I’m with you. I miss friends just dropping in. I’ve lived in very few places since I left home where my friends didn’t just stop by. From my first appartment in 1978 to my room on the circus train (yup, you read that right). When I lived in Norfolk Va I had frequent visitors at all but one of the five houses(and i was a single working mom then). Now I live in a lovely area, but most of my neighbors are families that both parents work. I do have one neighbor who calls every once in a while, sends her children over with gifts of love, but rarely finds the time to visit herself. In Florida my neighbors came and went via their attached garages, but we still found the time to visit, mostly out in the yard.
      Bygone eras of simpler times are greatly missed.
      Blessings,
      debbie

      * * *
      I have very fond memories of all the neighborhood moms sitting on the front steps visiting and drinking iced tea while the kids did cartwheels in the yard or rode bicycles in the street. And it wasn’t a playdate either. Mom would just go out front with her tea and the other moms and kids would show up.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 10:51 am

    23. Cyndi says:

      Aw, the spot everyone wants to be reminds me of my Gramma, the clutter of my other set, and the hope I have for the friendships I am working hard to build now – we overlook each other’s dust bunnies, and the kids act like sibs. Those simple, sweet times are cherished, and I’m feeling extra blessed thanx to your reminder.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 11:15 am

    24. Dana~Are We There Yet? says:

      I have an old tea kettle, always full and ready. When we have drop ins and I start the kettle, my older girls shuttle all the kids (mine and those belonging to the dropper-inner) to another room because they know the moms are going to Have A Talk. I love having the margin in my days and in my life to put on a kettle, shove the clothes to the end of the couch and hear the heart of a friend. Thanks for reminding me to be grateful for this small thing.

      * * *
      That’s the thing exactly Dana, those margins are where the sweetness and marrow of life lie. We’ve come to a place in our society where don’t leave any open spaces in our day/life for the chance encounter, the spontaneous interaction. We schedule our lives down to 15 minute increments and we see drop-in visitors and the like as interruptions, not opportunities.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 11:27 am

    25. Becky B says:

      Oh, I can’t tell you how I loved this post. (I love all of your posts! I’ll be linking up to this one soon.) I laughed and thought of my own parents’ house – which my husband and I are now living in! Our furniture replaces the 1962 Danish modern but the formica and mid-century light fixtures remain. It’s a crazy mix but I can’t tell you how many times I think of my mom sitting at the round kitchen table with the swivel vinyl seats, laughing over a cup of coffee with me, my friends or some of hers. You made my day! Can I come over for a cup??

      * * *
      Oooh! Wouldn’t that be fun if y’all – all y’all! — dropped in for coffee? I would love that!

      At my parent’s house, back when they had a dog, visitors would usually have to run the dog out of the kitchen chair at the end of the table so that they could sit down. And then the dog would saunter off all huffy with a cat-titude and be all, “Fine. You take the chair. I had it first. Whatever.”

      And if you can imagine this, there’s nothing like sitting down a swivel vinyl chair that’s been pre-warmed for your tushie by a mutt.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 11:28 am

    26. Stacey says:

      This post reminds me of Else & Harry who were our elderly neighbors — Any of the kids could go to Elise and Harry’s house to hang out and talk… Harry woould lay on the couch and drink Hires Rootbeer and chew,’er spit, Elise would talk your ear off– about Saturday night wrastlin’… and a bit of gossip about who was being good neighbor to who. Elise used to make a pie tin of candy for the “good neighbors” — if you weren’t good– no candy for you!
      Sadly both Elsie and Harry are passed away now. I miss them dearly–They were always home, and always willing to sit and talk– heck my older brother even learned how to make candy from Elsie…
      Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

      February 22nd, 2010 at 11:28 am

    27. Julie says:

      Sounds like a lovely place to be. The only people who drop by my house are uninvited salesmen and … uninvited salesmen. I might let one scrub my carpet next time.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    28. Ora says:

      I personally would love your parents kitchen…sounds like what I grew up with…LOL..and it was always crowded…and the coffee pot was always perking..but then family and close friends all lived close by…or would stop by after grocery shopping…or on a nice day..seems today that family is scattered abroad…and friends are either working or busy otherwise with volunteer stuff…etc etc etc…yes..the coffee klatch day is gone for the most part I do believe…and it is sad!!! but it sure makes a nice memory for me!!! hugs to ya…Ora in KY

      February 22nd, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    29. Heide says:

      Who’s at home any more? The Mate and I both work at home, and we used to get people dropping by a lot (but then we moved to an apartment in a not-so-central neighborhood). Nobody ever drops by my parents’ house, because they’re so often not home, but out skiing, hiking, swimming, canoeing, or otherwise enjoying their busy retirement. (Glad to see another post: I’ve missed your comments!)

      February 22nd, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    30. Princess Stupidhead says:

      People seem to have lost the art of entertaining guests. I suspect it is that people are too busy or afraid they’ll be judged by the condition of their house, but I don’t think I ever remember even noticing so much what someone’s house looked like. It’s now considered so rude to “just drop by.”

      Lately I realized that we have lost our sense of community. We are all so detached, everything is so impersonal. People plug into iPods and read emails on iPhones instead of even attempting to strike up a conversation with someone. We send a check to a charitable agency rather than help people in our own backyard. You’d touched on a subject here that I personally think is going to be the downfall of our society – eventually.

      Besides, I don’t know if people even know how to make coffee anymore.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    31. gardenia says:

      what a delightfully described kitchen. i want to go there right now. and I chuckled of course about the prescription bottles and the 4 sqaure inches of real estate on top of the table, and the tectonic plate –hahahaha. really really made me laugh, probably becuase my parents’s kitchen table is like that too.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    32. Joni says:

      I love coffee clucthes! Our neighbor comes almost every morning for a cup of coffee and the lastest news from town. We get all the newest and latest happenings from the neighborhood. Keeps us going through the winter. In the summer at night/evening we gather at his house for coffee before it gets dark and come home in time for bed! I love the country.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    33. Rebecca says:

      I think that habit started vanishing when families started needing 2 incomes and no one was drinking coffee in the afternoons at their own house or anyone else’s.

      Still, when my children were young, we lived in a country club and none of the other women I knew worked. The moms I hung out with played tennis several time a week and that’s where we did most of our visiting. We also often saw each other while waiting to pick up our kids at school in the afternoon. We had lunch every so often, but that was it.

      We never, ever dropped in on each other without calling first. And we rarely got together at anyone’s home. And we were all fine with that.

      I remember coming home from school and finding our kitchen crowded with my mom’s friends having coffee. But I actually preferred getting together with my friends in other places. Still do. Of course, there weren’t nearly the interesting places to go out in the small bayou town where I grew up as there are in the cities I’ve lived in since.

      That’s why I choose to live in cities.:) They’re not all urban jungles.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    34. Pat Trippiedi says:

      I too have fond memories of folks stopping by my parents home and having a cup of coffee and a chat. And when it wasn’t coffee, we always were visiting someone or someone was visiting us. Not for special occasions mind you but just “to visit”. Now it’s all scheduled play dates and special occasions it seems. Even a quick phone call to say hello often gets screened nowadays and then you end up playing “phone tag”. I do love our block though because we are getting more families moving in and it’s nice to sit outside, watch the kids and talk to the neighbors. When I was a kid, all the moms were outside and if your mom needed you – someone would tell you she was calling for you :)!

      February 22nd, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    35. Minnesotamom says:

      I started a post about this probably a year ago (still in draft form…sigh…). I remember people dropping in for coffee at my babysitter’s house all the time. And it’s sad that we always “go out for coffee” now instead. I hope to practice hospitality even when I don’t feel like my home is in perfect condition (since it NEVER is anyway!).

      February 22nd, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    36. Donna @ WayMoreHomemade says:

      Hospitality. Different from entertaining. It seems to be somewhat of a lost art and one that I, personally do not practice enough.

      I think also we don’t want to intrude on other people so we wait for an invitation. I get busy and don’t invite like I should.

      Thanks, AM, for stepping on my toes a bit.

      😉
      Donna

      February 22nd, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    37. carrien (she laughs at the days) says:

      Oh I agree. And I do have people stop by for tea on a fairly regular basis. But I wish it was more often.

      It only happens because my door is, literally, always open on the days when my kids are playing outside so I can keep an eye/ear out for them and the neighbors pop in. I’ve found it rarely works to invite people over for tea or plan it, but if I have a pot ready and the door open, it usually happens.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    38. carrien (she laughs at the days) says:

      oh and I meant to say, my apartment is never perfect, or as tidy as it could be, and more often than not has folded laundry on the couch and books and puzzles strewn all over. Our place is so small any mess i right out there and visible for everyone glancing in to see. I’ve gotten over it though, mostly. No one else cares, so I have stopped caring too.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    39. Pat says:

      Now THAT is a real kitchen!!

      February 22nd, 2010 at 7:52 pm

    40. Marian says:

      Wonderful.

      No one drops in anymore, even if invited sincerely to do so.

      My husband was just telling me how some friends of his grew up in a neighborhood where they were among 3 or 4 families who had a tradition of randomly showing up at each others’ homes early on Saturday mornings every so often, uninvited and unannounced, at which time the host family would serve impromptu breakfast to the whole family, and they would share the meal together! What a fun and rare thing! I can’t imagine how the very first drop-ins had the guts to get it started, but the hosts obviously had enough of a sense of humor to keep it going for many years.

      * * *

      I would do that. I would make pancakes. In requested shapes. And with M&M happy faces.
      http://picasaweb.google.com/antiquemommy/GalleryOfPancakes#

      February 22nd, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    41. Elizabeth says:

      Did anybody else feel the porch swing rock and the breeze in your hair while reading this post? I so remember our first house when the kids were toddlers – all the mamas and kids would go out to the front yard after dinner. Whoever went outside first just kind of drew everybody over. Visiting and sharing, oh those were the days. Now in this neighborhood I barely know the names of my neighbors. How sad to think it’s come to this. Perhaps it’s time, come spring, to sit on the front porch in the evenings.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    42. momof8 says:

      You know I’ve continued to think about this today. I remember just going outside and playing with the neighborhood kids and moms and dads hanging out in the yard visiting with other moms and dads. I think we are just so scheduled these days. Instead of going out to play kick the can until dark, people go to t-ball or soccer or arrange play dates. It happens some in our neighborhood, but not like I remember growing up.

      February 22nd, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    43. Jim says:

      Coffe, Tea, Watermelon, Home made/hand churned ice cream, games of 42 or dominoes, croquet, catching fire flies,
      crawdad fishing, spending the night in a musty storm cellar when a storm was brewing with the flickering fire,and smell of a kersoene lantern, farm living and fresh air,nature walks, open door policy (never locking the house), friends and relatives dropping in and visiting while the kid’s played and made up games, going to Granny’s almost every Sunday for Sunday dinner, Very close families where the Mother was home for/with the kids,and the husband made the living.
      We did not have everything we wanted, but had ALL we needed. I can reflect back on all this, and would not change my childhood with anyone that I know today. It is fast becoming a bygone era, and definitley one in which I am thankful I had the opportunity in which to grow up.
      Everyday I pray to God that our children and grandchildren will be able to see and enjoy the simple things in life which many never see; simply because the world is moving at such a fast pace, and so much focus is on acquiring “stuff”.
      I applaud your parent’s for who they are, and what they stand for.

      February 23rd, 2010 at 12:13 am

    44. Stretch Mark Mama says:

      Seriously, you have described my parents and their home to a “t.” Yes, they’re clutter and dirt always drove me nuts but their place was *the* place to visit. People would drop in on them all the time and my parents are so social that they didn’t mind and honestly didn’t stress about the mess.

      I had some people (my old college friends) stop in for coffee this past Sunday, and at best I was able to get my house 60% clean and picked up. I had to work really hard at not being embarrassed by the messy potty and the junk all over the floor and and and. So it’s been on my mind, too, about the differences between generations and how I can make positive changes accordingly.

      It’s helped for me to get to know my neighbors, because over time, we’ve popped in at one another’s houses often enough to know that none of us keep a neat and tidy place. But it’s definitely not a part of the overall culture to pop in for a visit.

      February 23rd, 2010 at 1:43 am

    45. Stretch Mark Mama says:

      THEIR clutter.

      (I am *not* a perfectionist.)

      February 23rd, 2010 at 1:44 am

    46. Brigitte says:

      And I thought only my parents’ table was that cluttered.

      We didn’t do the classic “coffee” with our neighbors or want to intrude if they were inside, but in our pre-kids days, if any neighbor was outside, it was an open invitation to stop by and visit, which would often turn into a shared cookout or beers around a campfire.

      Now that everyone (including us) has kids, they’re NEVER home. They’re at work, or shuttling one of their various children to one of their multiple activities. I was just thinking the other day that I was looking forward to when the kids were out of highschool and maybe, just maybe, we could start popping into each others’ yards again.

      February 23rd, 2010 at 5:30 am

    47. Carla Turner says:

      This is a great post. Very true.( I loved your description of the rolling chairs in the kitchen – rolling right out the back door.) We have “missed the point” somewhere along the way. We need to get back to our roots.Be far less concerned about having Martha Stewart homes and more concerned about people.

      February 23rd, 2010 at 6:20 am

    48. Marcia says:

      Sunday afternoon drives + sitting on the front porch used to = invitations to stop by to visit.
      In the small town I where grew up this was a common practice. I always loved when my parents would suggest a ride in the country or around town after our meals on Sunday.
      Friends and family still drop in on my parents from time to time without calling ahead. This post made me realize how special that really is for them.
      Thanks for a wonderful post.

      February 23rd, 2010 at 7:50 am

    49. Ginger says:

      Your words are soo true. There’s nothing like a cup of coffee and fellowship.

      February 23rd, 2010 at 8:26 am

    50. Cindy says:

      After reading your blog, I Googled ‘waiting in line’ then Googled ‘cup of coffee’ came up with a very interesting message.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3NgzQ9Pcsg

      The unmatched 45 year old melmac cups and not silverware,well just had to giggle when I read that—Today I can remembered just how the melmac cups and not silverware looked back then when they were brand spanking new,and ever so thankful that some of them survived all these years.Funny thing is I can not remember what they displaced. Not replaced because nothing was ever tossed away. Mom’s passed now, but all those memories of Mom’s kitchen full of coffee drinkers lives on.Come to think of it whenever I drink a cup of coffee I think of Mom, hot coffee was her all time favorite.

      What draws ’em in?? The message says enjoy Life’s simplicity,kindness,caring and love–Maybe just Lots of Heart draws ’em in!!!

      Seems to me it is always all about choices.

      February 23rd, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    51. Nelson's Mama says:

      A beautiful post – makes me homesick for things that I didn’t have.

      All of our children have gotten older now, but when they were small the Moms in our neighborhood would have impromptu gatherings in our driveways. We’d drag out our fold-out chairs, uncork some wine, talk and watch our kids play.

      I miss those days…

      February 23rd, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    52. Beck says:

      When I was a kid, my parents had this steady stream of friends just dropping in, happy people sitting around drinking coffee. And then it all just… stopped. You’re right – no one drops in anymore. And this was something I really had looked forward to as an adult, this casual, unplanned times with other adults. Sigh.

      February 23rd, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    53. Paulla says:

      What a lovely tribute to your parents’ hospitality. I could totally envision the house, the kitchen, and especially the warmth. 🙂

      February 24th, 2010 at 3:35 am

    54. Skip and Glenna says:

      We would love for you to drop in anytime. There is always
      something to be shared,blessings to give or receive.

      We have the open door policy–what ever that means.

      I will do the same when I come your way.

      February 24th, 2010 at 9:07 am

    55. Glenna says:

      We would love for you to drop in anytime. There is always
      something to be shared,blessings to give or receive.

      We have the open door policy–what ever that means.

      I will do the same when I come your way.

      February 24th, 2010 at 9:09 am

    56. melanie gao says:

      I wish I lived close enough to you to drop in for coffee. I wish more people did this.

      February 24th, 2010 at 6:38 pm

    57. Amy says:

      I love this.

      February 25th, 2010 at 11:56 am

    58. Leslie Maddox says:

      The last time I remember someone stopping by was when I was growing up, living on a military base in Italy. It had a small town feel. Everyone had screen doors and kept their regular doors open to let in the breeze. My parents’ best friends lived across the street and stopped in on a regular basis. Sometimes my mother would still be in her PJ’s, so Fred would come to the door and yell in, “Carmen, are you decent?” Cracked me up every time.

      February 25th, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    59. WarsawMommy says:

      I am so lucky that I have my own business, so I can control my time (mostly). I work from home, so when meeting clients, I always ask them to meet me in a cafe. Most raedily agree, and so our first ‘meeting’ always turns into a chat. We talk before getting down to business… I think this informal and friendly approach to business really relaxes things and starts us off on good footing.

      But the really good thing is that I usually arrange a coffee with a friend after my meeting is over – that way, I get coffee, a client AND a conversation with a friend – all in one go.

      Coffee time is important to me 😉

      February 26th, 2010 at 8:32 am

    60. Megan (FriedOkra) says:

      You always make me feel a little bit less old fashioned, AM. And I mean that in a totally positive, complimentary way. In my adult life, no one has really ever dropped in for coffee, yet I find myself missing it as if it once was a common occurrence. Maybe it’s a stubborn Southern hospitality gene that hasn’t finally mutated or “evolved” itself out of existence yet (praise God for that!).

      Something compels me to have my kitchen clean around 9:45 AM every morning – a polished table, an empty sink, just in case somebody shows up. I do invite friends over often (and they come when I do!) but somehow those planned coffees (while wonderful!) don’t quite live up to the spontaneous charm of a “drop by.”

      February 27th, 2010 at 8:27 am

    61. Susan says:

      Loved your post – it stirred up some great memories. It reminded me of my best friend when I first met her nearly 20 years ago, when we lived in neighboring small towns in northern Maine. I used to drop by her house every other week or so for a coffee and visit. She had an old fashioned kitchen, with a big Star Kineo wood cookstove that, besides using for warmth, used for cooking on occasion, just for fun.(she made the BEST apple raisin bread pudding in that thing!) She was into Green Mountain coffee (they were pretty new at the time) and usually had a few flavors on hand. She always asked me what I’d like, and then listen to me share my heart, either sitting at the table with me or while she worked around the kitchen baking something, or frying chocolate donuts, one of her specialties. (this was on her day off, as she worked a full time job) She lives in Florida now, and we both cherish those memories still.
      Since we moved to CT 5 years ago, I have found no one just ‘drops by’. People here are very reserved, very busy.
      I miss the days when people really cared about each others lives, and less about your job title and your address. Before cell phone interruptions, 500 channels on satellite, and overly busy lives.
      Nowadays, no one seems to get together for supper either.
      My girlfriend also used to invite us over for supper at least once or twice a month. Something fun she introduced me to, kind of like a mini potluck. She would call me up and invite us over for supper, asking me to bring what we were having that night (since it was usually last minute), to share with what they were having. Lots of food for everyone, cleanup was shared, and never the same combo twice! :0)
      PS: Someone said in a comment that Hospitality is different than Entertaining. Good observation! You don’t need your fine china and perfect house for hospitality, just a cup of something hot, a caring heart and a few minutes of your time.

      February 28th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    62. Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings says:

      My goodness, that reminded me of my Grandma Nita’s kitchen right down to the rolling chairs and linoleum. I will say some of my girlfriends and I still have coffee or tea, but we must make a date. Everyone is working. I think that’s the key. Women stayed at home. They worked hard, but knew when to rest too. Keep up the great writing my friend.~~Dee

      March 7th, 2010 at 8:45 am

    63. Sally says:

      My parents have lived in the same house since 1957 and countless people have dropped by for coffee and sat at their table for supper over the years, too. My Mom finds it odd that people do not socialize that way anymore.

      March 8th, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    64. Heather Conrad says:

      Precious story, precious people, so well written. Great to catch up with you for a moment!

      March 16th, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Leave a comment