Napkin Notes and Coffee Thoughts is based on the thousands of notes my husband and I have exchanged on nearly a daily basis throughout nineteen years of our arranged marriage. Each day I send him off to his job with a napkin note lovingly tucked into his lunch bag. He reciprocates with a “coffee thought” affectionately written in a notebook and placed next to Mr. Coffee. This little ritual is one of many threads that binds our hearts.
Throughout our marriage, napkin notes and coffee thoughts have yielded a journalesque narrative depicting the life of our blended family. We have thirteen kids ages four through thirty eight (see epiphany-house.org); eight grandchildren (two still in wombs) and a veritable petting zoo. But, the notion of family, for us, is larger than our children and grandchildren and pets. Our family also includes an array of offbeat individuals who, at one time or another, have made a home with us.They resemble the diversity of passengers on a Philadelphia Market Line train car. We are NOT the Duggars.
One of our sons once described our home as “Freak Haven”. I think he was reading Flannery O’Connor at the time. We took it as a compliment. Foundational to our life values is the uniqueness and dignity of every human. It is utterly important to us that our family be comprised of the kind of people worldly standards frequently exclude.
We see Napkin Notes and Coffee Thoughts as a vehicle for telling our family story. We have decided to tell it because it’s a love story that numerous extended family, friends, acquaintances and co-workers have urged us to tell. We are kicking it off today because this is the Catholic Solemnity of the Sacred Heart and it is the Sacred Heart of Christ who arranged our marriage. It is literally a marriage “made in heaven”. For this reason we dedicate the Napkin Notes and Coffee Thoughts blog to the Greater Glory of God. In Jesuit speak AMDG (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam). So, for all who become readers, welcome to Freak Haven.