One of the teachers I used to work with told me once that she liked her coffee like she liked her men; dark, and rich.
Well, I don’t care too much about the money thing when it comes to women. However, I do like them like I like my coffee; strong.
I love a good cup of coffee every morning. Sometimes in the afternoon, too.
It’s not that it wakes me up so much as the fact that I just love the flavor. And the stronger it is, the better the flavor. At least for my palate.
Strong women are better too.
When I look back at history and see some of the great women and the things they accomplished, they are so fascinating to me.
Rosa Parks is one of the first ones that comes to mind as I scan through the last century in my mind. Not only was she a woman but she was a minority, in a time where her particular race endured a great many trials.
I could go through a list of strong women in history that would number in the hundreds, but there’s one that stands out above all of them.
I look at my mother’s life and am just completely baffled and humbled at all she’s been through and accomplished.
She went to a private high school and college, but had to pay her own way since her family wasn’t wealthy. To do it, she worked late into the night at the campus laundry. Apparently, she could fold more sheets and clothes in an hour than anyone else.
It was hard work, and must have been extremely difficult to balance that with athletics and academics. But she did it.
She went on to earn a degree and become a teacher. After years of teaching, she helped my father take over the family business his mother had started.
When the business experienced an extremely hostile takeover, my parents were left with nothing and had to declare bankruptcy in 1985.
Mom and dad went back to work as teachers but mom took on a second job, working the drive thru at a local Taco Bell.
If you have never taught at an inner city school, send me an email and I’ll be happy to tell you how exhausting it is. She not only did that, she worked until the restaurant closed, five nights a week on top of her teaching gig.
She did it so that our family could eat, have a place to sleep, and even some toys.
After the IRS had had their fill of her paychecks, mom didn’t have to work the side job anymore. At that point she had left fast food and been working as a greeter at Olive Garden. She worked at one of the city’s worst schools for another ten years. Finally, after nearly two decades in that tough school environment, she got transferred to a new elementary school, ten minutes from their house, where she worked until retiring a few years ago.
Now she is loving retirement and being a grandmother.
I look at the life my mother has led and wonder how she did it. There is no way I’m strong enough or have enough energy to do what she did. I guess that old saying is true, “they don’t make ’em like they used to.” At least that’s what she tells me.
Strong women are all around us. If you’ve read any of my books, you may have noticed my female characters have some strong qualities. They’re my favorite characters to create. Their perseverance is not only admirable, it’s infectious, intoxicating, and, in my case, life saving. And let’s face it, they’re just a lot less boring, like a strong cup of coffee.
So, the next time you have a good cup of joe, raise it up in a salute to the strong women in your life who have made your world a better, more interesting place.
Here’s to you, mom, and all the other strong women out there.