Just a little story about coffee on two continents

by Lee Solomon
(Houston, TX, USA)

I am sitting in our home office in Houston as I write this little story. Some storms have moved through during the night and the sky is still dark though it is almost 8:00 a.m. The dove couples are cooing outside our window, promising their everlasting love as they work together to build a nest for the spring.


First thing I did this morning was grind some fresh coffee beans using the Krups 203 blade grinder that is available through this website. I went back to this way of grinding my beans after successive burr grinders failed after a short time of using them. The Krups grinder is so simple and easy to use. I just love it.

For me, coffee and books go together like few other things in life. I love to explore and discover new kinds of coffee, just as I love to find and read new books. This morning I am drinking some Rwandan French Roast coffee. The book I am reading is actually a book that I wrote. I am proof reading the second edition for the publisher before it goes to press.

There is a coffee story in the book that I will share with you here. That story was written at a time when we didn't know if we would ever be together, Ping and I. Now the scene from the book is playing out here in our Houston home. Ping is sleeping comfortably in our king bed while I am up enjoying my morning coffee.

Here is the scene from our book. The setting is Guangzhou, China. The event is my second of four trips to China to visit Ping while we waited to see if our visa application to bring her to America would be approved. Pour a fresh cuppa and enjoy!

As he had done on his first trip to Guangzhou, Lee left his bags at the front desk while he went to the restroom. The lobby was deserted because it was so late at night. It was almost deja vu. Ping came running through the front door of the hotel, her small overnight case in her hand, just as Lee returned from the restroom. They hugged and kissed excitedly, with Lee apologizing for his appearance and his smelly body. Ping didn't care. She couldn't keep her hands off of him.

"How did you know I would be here?" Lee asked.

"The nice lady with the cell phone called me," Ping replied.

I sure got a lot of mileage out of that candy, Lee thought.

They were able to get the room right next to the one they had on Lee's' previous trip. It felt so good to be together again. The surroundings felt so familiar. It was like coming home.

Every day for the three weeks Lee was there, they checked to see if their visa application had been approved in America. On the morning of October 1, Lee saw that it had been approved. It was very early in the morning, so he let Ping sleep a little longer while he went to eat breakfast downstairs. This was always an experience. He had learned that the staff would put the heat so high under the decanter of coffee that it would end up boiling, so he had jokingly told Ping that it was his responsibility each morning to turn down the heat on the coffee.

Ping preferred to sleep and not get up for breakfast, so he almost always dined alone. When he returned to the room, he woke Ping with the good news. They celebrated all day. This was an important milestone for them, but the most difficult part still lay ahead. Almost all visa applications were approved in America, which is what had just happened for them. It was at the Consulate overseas where the dangers lurk. That was especially true in Guangzhou.

****

Hence this scene from the prologue of our book:

The woman sat in the darkness, deep into the night, mourning their loss. Her dark eyes had lost their sparkle. The long dark hair that spilled in curls from her head cast a shadow across her face as dim light from the moon crept into the room. She was a strikingly beautiful woman. Taller and shaplier than would be expected for a woman of her race, her appearance usually dominated when she entered a room.

Tonight, however, the woman was overcome with emotion. Her shoulders were slumped. Her breathing was shallow. Time stood still in her heart, while the mintues ticked surely by in the silent room. Shortly before dawn, with strength from somewhere deep within, the woman stirred.

"This is not how we want this to end," the woman whispered to the exhausted body of the little girl.

****

From the book, "No Price Too Great," by Lee Solomon.

"No Price Too Great is enthralling from first page to last." Midwest Book Review, February 9, 2009

So enjoy your coffee and read something to improve your mind and your outlook on life.

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