Hodgepodge Revisited

Just a Hodgepodge

hodgepodge-wordsA word flashed in my mind yesterday and I thought to refresh my thinking and meaning of the word…. Hodgepodge. Essentially, a “confused mixture” and in one sense that’s the way I decorate, how I live, and enjoy an eclectic style of music. It makes no difference whether this fits with that, but rather, do I like this and that, so enjoy them both at the same time.

If that’s the way I enjoy, then who cares if I’m the one having to live with it…

Now. There is nothing necessary about using this word over any other, and I cannot tell you where I might have learned it to begin with. But sometimes Jumble, Montage, Muddle, or any other word simply does not fit… But Hodgepodge does!

It’s almost like my collecting style is broad, and even a little weird. I’ve collected coins since I was about 6 years old and this is my favorite past time when I think of collections. However, I’ve collected key chains, coasters, cigarette lighters (and I’ve never smoked) as well as pictures, quotable sayings, greeting cards and the things kids bring to me at church.

Somewhere along the way this hodgepodge of collectibles must be handled. But maybe never by me! That’s why you have a Last Will and Testament!

There was a place in my past that I remember shopping at that really contained a hodgepodge of goods. It was a damaged goods place along the Houston Ship Channel called “The Salvage”. I remember getting a tricycle that mimicked a three wheel Police Cycle that you would often see in parades, or as a parking enforcer. I do not know whatever happened with it, but I do remember that as a major purchase!

And this is where the word came up today. A barista and I were having a conversation about my love for black coffee. My mind drifted back to my first memory of roasting coffee…

One of the best smells in the world is the roasting of coffee beans!
Hands down, nothing comes close.

So. I pick up my story from another posting about Hodgepodge….

Growing up east of Houston, I remember the times we would go into the city and drive down Navigation Blvd, next to the Houston Ship Chanel and just off the bubble of downtown Houston. Freeways were only 2 lanes each way, not the multiple lanes on each side with HOV traffic flow in the middle.

On the way to a special buying place of damaged shipped good, called The Salvage, we would pass by a coffee roasting on a large scale. It may be Maxwell House today, but I think it was Maryland Club back in the day. At one time Coca Cola owned them. Anyway, driving by there on the way to a unique shopping experience, if they were roasting then you would be swallowed up by that special smell.

A few years back, our church in Anchorage occupied a space across the Seward Highway from Khaladi Brothers Coffee. Though it was a special place to hang out, it was also where they roasted beans. I tell you, there were some days you could hardly have church when the wind over the mountains pushed that aroma into our building!

Coffee does not taste like it smells! I am not sure what the smell portends, but when you mix the smell with the taste you immediately react. You are not sure what you were going to taste, but it is nothing like the smell.

I’ve written before that Dad was going to allow me to start drinking coffee around 12 years old. We were at a picnic/bingo event at the Lyondell Plant off Sheldon Road in Channelview. They had a company park at the back of the plant, right on the San Jacinto River. Their swimming pool was murky and had a sand bottom – it often felt like you were swimming in the river! At an event, we were invited to by the Allen’s, my mom’s sister’s family, we were sitting at a table when dad walked over and told me I was old enough. To drink coffee. Only, I had to learn to drink it black. Everyone around me was doctoring their coffee and he said there was plenty of time for that, but to start I needed to appreciate it without the additives.

This was the same with learning to drive. Standard first. Automatics later….

It did not work out for coffee that day! And it was nearly a dozen years later before I acquired the coffee taste and to this day, the only way to partake is for it to be black. Nothing in it…. Unless it’s bad coffee.

So, back to a few days (years) ago. I removed several packages of specialty coffees and ground the beans and made my own mixture of morning coffee. Hodgepodge. Not a bad job, if I say so myself!

If you look up hodgepodge you will find it connected to the idea of a stew. A finished product of different, and seemingly unrelated items mixed together…I’ll drink hodgepodge coffee any day!