I don't often frequent coffee houses, mainly because I'm too cheap to pay $2 to $3 for a cup of coffee. I don't care for sweetened hot drinks (like hot chocolate or apple cider etc.) and that goes double for coffee. I tell myself I'm a purist because I don't like anything degrading the coffee flavor.
In spite of this, I was at a coffee house last night drinking a $2 cup of de-caff. My friend S was reading from her recently published book, Ssylka about a Russian woman who follows her exiled husband when he's sent to Siberia. Eight people turned out for the event even though it was bitchin' cold (as we say in Minnesota). It was cozy and warm inside, however, and it was nice to be together with a group like that.
M and S met afterward and found they had many things in common. Except for one big thing--M still has PTSD from living through the WWII bombing of London. (When the local weather warning sirens are tested on the first Wednesday of every month, M has a moment of panic.) S says she remembers the hardships after the war more vividly than the actual war. Both women have written memoirs about those years and are looking forward to getting together to talk about it.
I was living in California during the war years when my dad worked at the Lockheed Aircraft plant. Even so, I have an affinity for those who endured the terror of nightly bombings--of being a little girl in a world where strange men in airplanes are trying to kill you. How do you fathom such insanity!?
I'm a big fan of my home state of Minnesota, especially because all of my kids and grandkids live here. I'm retired but keep busy with puttering, volunteering and writer's groups. I have three well-loved kitties who keep me smiling. I am surrounded by trees and wildlife even though I live within a few miles (as the crow flies) of the state capitol building in downtown St Paul. This keeps me quite contented.