EncROACHing on my coffee…

In other countries, this might be considered a delicacy: coffee-boiled cockroach. Another reason I’m proud to be an American.

Imagine my surprise when I poured my coffee this morning and saw something solid in the flow from pot to cup. Thankfully, it contrasted dark against my added cream. And floated. At first, I thought a piece of the coffee maker had broken off into my cup. But when I fished it out with a spoon and saw the roach that it was, I could only thank God that it happened to pour out with the first cup of coffee–rather than my last.

My guess is that it made its way into the glass coffee pot somewhere in the night after I prepared this morning’s coffee and was surprised by a hot, brown bath. (That’s it. Back to using the smaller, but clearly safer, thermal carafe.) For a mere second, I considered that the brew that was hot enough to kill the bug was hot enough to kill its bacteria, but with the recent spate of pest control commercials tying roaches to salmonella, I figured a fresh, clean pot and peace of mind was worth the wait.

My coffee habit is on autopilot. Every night I measure out the water and grounds and set the delay button to ensure I have hot coffee awaiting me when I get out of bed in the morning.  I have similar autopilot habits: shut off the alarm, use the potty, turn on the bathroom light, stand on the scale, sigh, slide into my Crocs, head to the kitchen with my nearly empty nighttime (lidded) Tervis Tumbler of water, take my allergy pill with the remaining water, and pour my first cup of coffee… The autopilot habits ensure tasks get done, and I was thinking I needed to get back with the FlyLady to help me develop even more autopilot activities to ensure my house stays clean.

And cockroach-free.

But sometimes I do things on autopilot that I shouldn’t. Like nod and say “uh hmm” when someone is speaking, as if I heard what was said when I really didn’t. Or arrive somewhere that I’ve driven, completely unaware how I got there. Or read through some Scripture or a devotion and finish, realizing I’ve gained nothing because I didn’t attend to what I read. Sometimes I’m just going through the motions.

The Proverbs remind me that autopilot isn’t how I should address God’s Word:

“My son, pay attention to what I say;
turn your ear to my words.
Do not let them out of your sight,
keep them within your heart;
for they are life to those who find them
and health to one’s whole body.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. …
Let your eyes look straight ahead;
fix your gaze directly before you.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
and be steadfast in all your ways” (Proverbs 4:20-26, emphasis mine).

Autopilot is good when it means I automatically clean my house or go work out at a specific time. It’s not good when it keeps me from paying attention and giving careful thought to where I am or with whom. I need to take the time to focus and keep the important things in my heart.

It’s funny, but when I was writing the caption to put under the photo of this morning’s coffee companion, I mused that others not only might consider the cockroach a delicacy but also a topic for writing (I mean, other than blog posts). I’ve taught Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis (once) and figured someone, somewhere had written an ode to a cockroach. So I did a Google search for “ode to a cockroach”  and found 3,730,000 results.

Apparently, when we slow down and notice things, even nasty cockroaches can become poetry. (Hard not to notice when one pops up like a cork in your morning coffee.) Automatic coffee makers with timers are a great feature. Ones with a sealed thermal carafe are a safe feature. But a drowning victim in my morning brew? It’s a reminder to not only stop and smell the coffee–but to also look at it (and the important things of life) real closely.


And now for your poetry pleasure:

Drink’s Demise

A limerick by Sara Dagen

There once was a roach in my kitchen

Who found a glass pot he could fit in.

The swim caused his death,

Gave me heart arrest,

And made coffee deemed only worth pitchin’

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