Memories are strange things. They come and go with time, and its often the oddest things that can bring back a whole rush of remembrances sometimes.
I started drinking coffee when I was about eleven or so, I'd say. Mostly milk and sugar, with just a dollop of coffee at that point. But there was something so fantastic about discovering the early morning back then. In the weekday mornings before school, when everything was still quiet and everyone else was asleep, I'd pad downstairs in my socks and pajamas and find Dad at the coffeemaker, brewing up his trademark perfect pot of coffee. Dad and Mom have a long-standing tradition where Dad brings Mom her first cup of coffee in the morning. Every morning. For thirty-something years now. Its adorable.
Back from my earliest coffee-drinking days, I have fond memories of snapping open the lid to our faded yellow Tupperware sugar container and pouring unreasonable amounts of sugar into my coffee cup. Then I'd stand there in the kitchen, enjoying watching it get lighter and lighter outside, and I'd chat with Dad about the drama of being in middle school, or perhaps about Dad's marathon-training schedule, or (my personal favorite) we'd talk about all the billions of things I wanted to do when I grew up.
When my brother posted some old family photos on Facebook, I spotted the sugar container in one of them. See it on the counter there behind Matt's elbow? (Also, are my little brothers not the cutest little guys ever? They aren't so little anymore, but they are still quite cute.) (You too, Chris, even though you aren't pictured in this one.) ;)
After I saw the picture, I mentioned to Mom that I loved that old sugar container. Now, I should tell you that Mom has an incredible ability to Find Amazing Stuff On E-Bay. A few weeks later, a box arrived at my doorstep, and I opened it to find this:
THE YELLOW SUGAR CONTAINER! With a matching creamer container too!
Tell me that's not the most amazing E-Bay find you've ever seen. How did she do it folks? I love that its got spouts on both sides -- one side for pouring sugar into your coffee, and the other side for scooping out tablespoons of sugar for baking. Its the most majestic little container, and I love it.
And every time I flip that little yellow lid open, I'm transported back to the early-morning kitchen of my youth, with a steaming mug of fresh brewed coffee, and the whole day stretched out before me. Those moments were so full of possibility and potential, and there was something so special about knowing the same routine would always be there to greet you in those pre-dawn hours. Same porcelain mugs, same feet-in-socks on a cold tile floor, same sound of the water percolating through the workings of the coffeemaker, and knowing that as soon as the pot finished brewing, Dad would pour each cup with just the right ratio of sugar-to-creamer-to-coffee.
Just for a moment, on those mornings, I felt a little older, a little more sophisticated than my years. And I loved that feeling. The feeling that by the time you got to school and sat in your desk, you already had a leg-up on the rest of the world, because you'd already been up for several hours, chatting with grownups and sipping coffee just like them. It was something really special.
All of that from a little plastic sugar container. :) Memories are strange things, aren't they?