By Melissa Nester, The Welch News Publisher
Last week I found myself in a coffee crisis. I knew I needed to buy coffee, but as the demands of the day wore on and the hours passed, the necessary store trip was forgotten. The next morning my heart dropped to the floor when I realized the error of my ways at 5:30 a.m. staring into the empty coffee can.
I quickly assessed the lights at our neighbors house knowing that Nanny Neighbor is a very early riser. I debated starting my day early and going to The Welch News office where I knew I had coffee to make. It would be rude to ask for a favor before daylight, I told myself.
30 minutes later I gave in and sent a picture of the empty coffee can to her. Within minutes, she sent coffee that smelled delightful as it brewed. An absolute treat on a cold morning that got off to a bad start. Nanny has a way of making things better and gifting coffee is only the beginning of her heart.
People here tend to be this way, helping and giving if you find yourself in a pickle. As I went about my day, another one of the angels of our hills and hollows messaged me to ask how long I would be in the office. I told her we would be open until 4 p.m., but that I would gladly stay later.
That afternoon, Jessica Love Hicks popped in our office with 3 very nice packs of flavored coffee from Bones Coffee. She had read my Facebook post thanking my neighbors and had decided to give us this incredible gift. Her only request was that I let her know if it was good and which one I liked the best.
The 3 coffee flavors included were Oh Fuuudge, Gingerbread Man, and Jingle Bones coconut & caramel & vanilla. I jumped up and down and my heart soared at this thoughtful gift of something I loved, needed and would never have bought for myself.
Some people just exude happiness and goodness. Jessica is one of those people. You can’t help but notice that she is always out uplifting any weary souls in the kindest of ways. You always know she genuinely cares.
Jessica has no idea, but I share the first pot of coffee of the day with my daughter who lives in the apartment downstairs. I was excited every morning to sample these delightful flavors with her and discuss what we thought of them. A feeling that made this gift all that much more special. I woke up every morning excited to sample a new flavor.
Normally I find flavored coffees to be a tad weak for my tastes, but I’m a self-proclaimed coffee addict instead of a one pot a day type of girl. The Bones flavors did follow this pattern, however they were hands down the best flavored coffee I’ve had the opportunity to taste. All 3 were delightful and the flavor shined through in a way I had never experienced with flavored coffee.
In answer to Jessica’s request, it was the Oh Fuuudge for both of us. I would buy all of them again, but the Oh fuuudge was my favorite by far. Who doesn’t like fudge?
That concludes my coffee stories, but the week continued to reveal the angels among us that both knowingly and unknowingly impact our lives.
On Friday afternoon, both Derek and myself had scheduled appointments at the McDowell County Health Department for our COVID booster vaccines. We always enjoy seeing the team over there and appreciate having them here.
Once we arrived, we found the Commission on Aging had a table set up inside and were giving out $50 gift card each for participants. That is one incredible gift the week before Thanksgiving, and will help us tremendously. There are angels all around McDowell county, and these people are certainly among them, but it was an angel I had never met that prompted me to allow Miss Mouth to find her way here this week.
After my booster, I met an incredible lady who moved me to my core. We spent time chit-chatting about life, about how things used to be and the challenges of the past few years. We also bonded over our gratitude for our parents and our upbringing.
I learned she had read everything I had written in the Miss Mouth columns of the past, and she wished I would write again. She told me how it reminded her of growing up and how our upbringing was probably much the same.
I very much felt shock. I had no idea she realized I was “newspaper Missy”, let alone be the person inviting me to put my true heart into words again. I remember I quickly looked away and tried to explain how challenging and terrifying it is for me to address my emotions through words and share them with the world.
She had no idea that our small team had found ourselves in a season of incredible loss, hurt and mistrust. She didn’t realize the local friendships we lost, or personal sacrifices we have made to keep a local newspaper. She didn’t realize how our hearts have been bleeding for a long while. She didn’t realize we had lost our trust in the safety of the mountains we have always called home.
It was about that time when Derek came back. Her reaction to his entrance was to say she felt as though she were meeting celebrities. My eyes stung from the tears I was holding back, and I attempted to laugh my way through. I’m not certain why I didn’t go ahead and cry except that I might not have stopped.
She was so kind in her praise and encouragement, saying we didn’t realize the impact we make with our small hometown newspaper or how important it is to her and her family. Praising us for the job where we are often “outsiders” in any room as we try to separate ourselves from our feelings and do the work that we are often shunned for doing.
She needs to know the impact she had on our lives Friday, and that I’ve thought about her and her words since. She needs to know that she is one of the angels in our area. She needs to know I wrote again for the first time in a long while only because of her encouragement.
She reminded me that not everyone will want the newspaper crew in the room, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important for us to be there. Sometimes we are unaware of the impact we have on the lives around us.
I usually quote a Nester rule here, but I feel like a much better quote would be from another guy that had a huge impact on my life:
“Look for the Helpers” – Fred Rogers