Today is a day of reflection. My last post started my mind thinking…so if you don’t mind..I’m headed down memory lane today. So, grab a cup of coffee, fasten your seat belt, and enjoy the ride.
As I stated in my last post, I grew up in the great state of North Dakota. When I was small, up until the point I left to serve Uncle Sam. Every weekend, or at least most weekends, my father took me with him to meet his friends for coffee. Usually this coffee was at the local donut shop. A local joint, not the Dunkin Donuts or Krispy Kremes that overload you. But a local donut shop.
He would meet his friends, and I would listen in as they recalled their expoits over the past week. I would enjoy my chocolate milk and maple long john (do they even have long johns anymore?). They all told such great stories. My father especially- has the art of gab, he was a professional banter’er. His friend, a salesman that traveled the entire state – was always good for laughs. Not just any laugh. The belly busting, down low hearty rumble that only a good story can bring out. That is the beauty in banter.
As I got older, the setting graduated to the local Perkins. The crowd grew too, from the cozy three of us to four or more of the salesman clutch that my father liked to hangout with.
Finally, I reached manhood (or so I thought) and had to set out on my own.
Fast forward 20+ years. During my time in the Navy, I had started a family of my own; and I was not stationed anywhere near my mother and father. I had started a tradition with my children..yep…morning coffee. While I couldn’t do it as frequently as my father did for me, I did manage to have coffee a couple of times a month. Just father/daughter time. And it was/is special.
Shortly after I left the service. My father and I started to have our morning coffee again. We tried the Skype thing…that didn’t work so well. After 10 minutes we both agreed we were ugly and ended the session. But we do have coffee, every Saturday morning @ 6:00 am. We meet and chit chat for an hour or two. All of our friends respect this time. No one can bother me, my dance card is full btween 6:00 – 8:00 am; every Saturday, and all of my friends and family respect this.
What do we talk about? Everything and anything. Nothing is off topic, and there are times we do not agree; but that is the beauty of banter. You can gently disagree – state your point and keep moving, as if nothing had happened. Often we will take opposing sides of a discussion. Define your view, frame your argument, present your case with facts, and refute the criticisms. That is a fun banter session with my father – all enjoyed over a piping cup, or two of coffee. And of course – there are many bad jokes, belly busting laughter – the kind of laughter that only a good story can bring out.
Did I mention we live 3,000 miles apart?