When the milking was finished, Grandpa came back up the hill for coffee and toast. I remember Grandpa’s cup, a sturdy cream colored vessel with a round tapered bottom and a one-finger handle high on the side. When I see this style today it’s always a “Grandpa Cup.”
Coffee with Grandpa was instant coffee with milk and sugar and two slices of toast. I’m sure he had coffee cake or pastry once in a while, but I remember the toast. Grandpa buttered his toast, folded it in half, and dunked it into his coffee before taking a bite. He would eat soggy toast and drink his coffee every morning. I don’t think he noticed the buttery film floating on top of the coffee and coating his cup.
Grandpa and I were pretty close. Whenever we visited, I would sit with him while he had his coffee. Mom and Grandma believed children should not drink coffee – “it would stunt your growth” - so I sat at the table with my toast and a glass of milk. Sometimes, when Grandma was in the next room, Grandpa brought a second cup to the table - a cup just like his! Grandpa would wink at me and with a finger pressed to his lips, he would transfer several spoonfuls of his coffee to my cup and fill the cup with milk. I was so proud at these moments because I was having coffee, just like Grandpa. And just like Grandpa, I folded my toast and dunked it.
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