The Day I Ordered My Coffee Black, A Short Story

Coffee Meme.jpg

I am a part of a writer’s group that has been together for the past 15 years. Every Wednesday we are given a writing prompt to help us keep our creative inspiration flowing. Today’s prompt was one that immediately got my mind thinking…

Writer’s Prompt: The girl at Starbucks who always gets a caramel macchiato orders black coffee today.

A man of quiet strength, he had been the one who kept Jo grounded when her world seemed to be spinning out of control. Her Dad was confident in her ability as a writer. This infused her with determination to meet his expectations. Even as the rejection letters mounted, it didn’t sway his belief that her voice was something special. Yet, on this day of all days, Jo was struggling to remember the sound of his voice, and it left her fraught with anxiety. What daughter forgets her Dad’s voice after only three years? If his voice faded so fast, would she forget her voice too? What if she never knew her voice? Was it all a facade visible only by her Dad’s faith in who she could be?

Tormented that his death would cause a similar death to her future, Jo decided she needed to get outside. She was hopeful the fresh air would stimulate her thoughts.

Fall was living up to its name as crisp, colorful leaves descended in cadence to the sidewalk below. Jo gathered her jacket around her neck to ward off the chill. Instinctively, she walked to the corner for her morning pick-me-up. As she waited in line she remembered the countless times she and her Dad had met here to go over her latest plot. He would smile as she read, not so much because he loved the story, but because he loved its author. A tear started to fall, which she caught with her sleeve before it had a chance to show itself to a watching world.

She discovered why she was struggling this Father’s Day. It was the reality that no one was watching her, and no one cared for her as he had. She shifted in line reading the food offered on the rack where she stood, hoping to forget. Jo realized her anxiety had followed her, and it was impossible to run fast enough to get away.

She let out a sigh when the barista asked, “What can I get for you today? Your usual?”

She recalled the countless times her Dad had answered this question. In his gentle, reserved manner she could hear him say, “I’ll have a tall, coffee. Make it black, please.”

Her memory exploded alive along with her Dad’s voice.

“No Caramel Macchiato for me today.” Jo thought to herself.

It was Father’s Day and this one was for Dad. Along with his voice came fresh inspiration. The title of what she would write next, “The Day I Ordered My Coffee Black”.

Advertisement

Prompted to Remember

(Photo from 1962, Silver Star Pharmacy)

I am a part of a writer’s group that provides a writing prompt once a week in order to help us keep the creative juices flowing. This past week’s prompt led me down an unexpected path. The following is the prompt and what I wrote in response.

Wednesday Writer’s Prompt:

What place, or kind of place, elicits fond memories of the past?

Opening the door was an entry to my childhood. A time capsule bursting open in celebration of what once was.

The soda fountain served guests a daily special prepared by our beloved cook, Flossie. She was like a grandmother to me, always making sure I had enough food in my belly to fuel my curiosity. The clattering of dishes passing through the triple sinks to wash, rinse and sanitize were the background music of life in my Dad’s Pharmacy.

The regular customers provided a cadence call of life in our small town, beckoning us to participate together in life’s difficult moments.

But the center of it all was my dad’s caring heart. Each customer knew they had a faithful friend who would sacrifice time with his family in order to provide for their needs in crisis. He listened to their laments and carried their concerns to God in prayer.

But that was then.

Sadness cloaks me with a familiar comfort. Gone are the customers, the needs, the community of friends who called my Dad “Doc”. Gone are the rich smells of comfort food served with a smile. Gone are the days of my childhood.

Yet the memories linger as I sign the paper ending an era. Soon this building will belong to someone new.

(Photo from 2017)

We will go our separate ways to live our dreams and provide for those to whom God has given us to care and provide.

Tomorrow’s memories are being written on the walls of today. Each day matters; make them count for eternity.

Reviewing Grace

IMG_9437

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but I really don’t want to post just to post. I want to have something worth your while reading too. And today I think I do.

You know how they say a watched pot never boils? Well, Amazon reviews are the same way. I hadn’t received any new reviews on my book since April, so I quit checking. I was  surprised to discover three new reviews in just the last month! The only way I found out was someone tagged me in one of the reviews.

Here’s what they had to say:

5.0 out of 5 stars So affected by this book!, September 7, 2013
This review is from: Through the Eyes of Grace (Paperback)

I just finished Through the Eyes of Grace and wanted to review it right away – what an absolutely beautiful story of a young girl I could easily relate to, as Grace was my own daughter’s age when her life took such a dramatic turn. Knowing that Grace, her family, and the life that she lived were all real at one time, made this a particularly fascinating read for me. I ached as Grace did, at the rawness of her shame & her struggles, but the thread of hope weaved throughout her life was so profound and just so … beautiful. I’m anxious to hear the rest of the story (the author alludes to another volume in the epilogue), but for now I’m excited to share this exquisite tale of redemption with my own teenage daughter, and anyone else who will read it!

5.0 out of 5 stars Well written story, September 3, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This book tells a story of very difficult circumstances thrust upon the main character, 15 year-old Grace. It deals with sensitive issues in a delicate and tasteful way, and brings a healthy resolve in the end. It doesn’t unnecessarily stir up romantic passion, but gives an accurate, sweet account of a love, rebellion, redemption and grace. Well done.

5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, August 11, 2013
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)

This book is incredibly well written. It is easy to lose yourself in the author’s flowing language and vivid descriptions of the western territories and life as a settler. You will feel Grace ‘s pain and joy as if you were her. Debi Gray Walter has a true hit here! This book is also seen inspiration to the reader to dig into one’s own family history and stories before they are lost. Well written and well enjoyed! When’s the next one?

What wonderful reviews! Thank you so much to all of you who have taken the time to review Through The Eyes Of Grace. If you haven’t had the chance, would you consider writing one? I want you to be honest in order to help others know whether or not they would like to read it.
“Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip.” 🙂
― Will Rogers

I’ve Received The Liebster Blog Award

liebster-award1-1

Rosanna of Writing Prompts From Life nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award, and I am so grateful to her and happily accept the nomination. ‘Liebster’  is a German word that means “beloved.” The origins of the Liebster Blog Award are shrouded in mystery, but what is clear is that the award is given to up and coming bloggers.  Just like most awards, the purpose of the Liebster Blog Award is to inspire bloggers.

When a blogger accepts the award, the blogger has to:

  • 11 facts about her/his self
  • Answer 11 questions from your nominator
  • Nominate 11 blogs with under 200 followers
  • Leave 11 questions for the nominees to answer

So, in accepting the award, I hereby list 11 facts about myself:

  1. I am a native Floridian.
  2. I have been journaling my life since 1989, and I’m on my 56th volume.
  3. I have a rose garden that grows in pots, but my favorite flower to grow is the dahlia.
  4. I host another blog called Route 66 Club devoted to helping others read the the Bible on a daily basis.
  5. I am a registered Creek Indian–my maternal grandfather was listed in the Dawes Rolls of the Five Civilized Tribes in OK in the late 1800’s.
  6. My favorite movie is You’ve Got Mail.
  7. I love Starbucks Cappuccinos and order them extra hot and wet (meaning less foam and more steamed nonfat milk) 🙂
  8. I had the privilege of homeschooling all three of our children for most of their 13 years of education.
  9. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, who means more to me than anyone else in my life.
  10. A perfect day would be spending it with Tom on the beach listening to the waves break on the shore.
  11. I’m addicted to Words With Friends.

Now for the 11 questions from Rosanna:

  1. What is the best advice you can give bloggers?  Write what’s on your heart and be consistent with your theme. And connect with other bloggers who write to the same audience. This will not only help you grow in your craft, but it will provide you with the support and encouragement you need when you’re tempted to quit.
  2. What would you like to do to make your life more exciting? I’m not sure there is anything my life is lacking in regard to excitement. We are in the process of seeing another life-long dream come true, but I can’t share what it is just yet. 🙂
  3. How often do you engage in a hobby or activity that makes you happy? Daily. My passion is writing. I’ve done it for years privately in my journals, and now God has blessed me with three blogs for which I host and write: The Romantic Vineyard, Debi Gray Walter Author, and Route 66 Club.
  4. List 3 blessings you’ve been gifted with during the day. Health, A husband who loves me, and friendship.
  5. What are your best assets? The grace I’ve been given through Christ, and a heart that longs to please Him in all things. Next would be my faithful husband of 34 years, who is also my best friend in this life.
  6. Why is the world a better place because you live in it? Oh my, I don’t think it’s my place to answer this question. I’ll wait until the day when hopefully I’ll hear my Heavenly Father say, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” The Bible says to let another praise you and not your own mouth–enough said!
  7. How are you today? Content.
  8. How can you show love for yourself today? I do this without thinking. It’s love for others that I must work on. 
  9. Have you given yourself a pat on the back for a job or chore that you did well? Yes, finishing and publishing Through The Eyes Of Grace. A 25 year dream come true!
  10. How does winning this award make you feel? Grateful.
  11. What can you do today to make yourself feel better? Start a regular exercise plan. I took out my yoga mat this morning and I’m hoping to give it a go once again!

Now it’s my turn to nominate 9 bloggers for this award. I couldn’t come up with 11 blogs to nominate! But the following are excellent!

  1. Life On The Lighter Side
  2. NonGMO Journal
  3. Growing Up Triplets
  4. Never Once Have I Ever Walked Alone
  5. All Of Grace
  6. Gluten Free With Julie B
  7. The Walter Family
  8. Gina Lillycrop Designs
  9. Morning By Morning

Below are my 11 questions I would ask the above bloggers to answer:

  1. What motivated you to start your blog?
  2. What is your favorite post you’ve written? Why?
  3. Who is your greatest support in doing what you do?
  4. If you had a day completely to yourself with no responsibilities, what would you do?
  5. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
  6. What is a favorite memory you have from one of your grandparents?
  7. If you were to write your auto-biography what would the title be?
  8. Do you blog mostly for yourself or for your audience?
  9. Do you keep a journal? Why or why not?
  10. What is the best advice you can give to someone who is just starting to blog?
  11. List three blessings for which you are grateful to God?

Now that was fun. I can’t wait to let my blogger friends know about their nomination. When you write your post, please come back and link-up to this post. That way we’ll all get to read your responses. Have a blessed day!