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Hill Country Living

After what seemed like days upon endless days of cold, miserable drizzle-rain the weather cleared into a “frozen fog” which, as far as I know, is a new phenomenon. It’s nice that about four billion years into this whole gig the weather decides to make up something completely new on a random weekday. 

Eventually the “frozen fog” melted into a regular-temperature fog which was quite creepy. The clouds got so thick and all-encompassing while I was driving past the Sports Complex that I was thinking maybe I had died and this was the afterlife. I was pleased that it was such a smooth, seamless transition and included my La Croix I had been drinking. 

Or, if it wasn’t the afterlife, then I was about to be murdered due to the lone-figure-walking-in-a-creepy-fog factor and that I would shortly be experiencing the afterlife anyway. 

Every time I saw one of y’all who walks for exercise appear up out of that fog, I had a mini-stroke. Y’all were all suspected murderers for the duration it takes for a car to drive past you.

But, I digress. What was most notable this week was not the fog but the coffee. Maggie at Humble Bee Cafe teamed up with Lee McMinn and Mechanics Bank to take speciality coffee drinks to all the teachers at the school this week! I decided this would be my DES volunteer activity since I have yet to be able to volunteer at the school this year. I picked a really fun one!

Maggie and Lee set up in the teacher’s lounge amongst the copiers and snack machines and set to work making coffee orders the teacher’s had previously placed. Y’all, I am life-long waitress, a veteran of food service, so take me seriously when I tell you…delivering made-to-order specialty drinks to each classroom of a school in a timely manner when each drink takes about two full minutes to make and you don’t quite know where every classroom is located, complicated by testing in the third grade hall was not an easy task. 

It got serious and it got serious fast. Maggie stood at the portable espresso machine (bought by Maggie and Lee specifically for this event, by the way) and could not leave for two hours as she was the only one who knew how to work it. Lee was huddled over several sticky, syrup-y maps of the school while other volunteers whirred and whizzed around the room pouring vanilla and peppermint syrups into paper cups, marking off room numbers, writing teacher’s names on cups and placing them on the maps in exact coordination to where they would be in real life. 

It was like a war room from the old time movies! A couple more of us ran coffees up and down the hallways. A lot of the time we looked lost because we were. I kept having to ask Bonnie From The Office where classrooms were. I felt dumb because Bonnie From The Office could have probably handled the whole operation in its entirety all on her own and blindfolded.

But the teachers were so appreciative and kind to us. More than anything, I loved walking across the classroom and seeing the children’s eyes follow as their teachers received something special for their work from another adult. I think there’s a lot of real value in the kids seeing that. 

As I type this column right now, Maggie and Lee and more volunteers are serving specialty coffees, this time to the high school teachers. I wish them well. Godspeed, troops!

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