Sunday, May 27, 2018

Coffee With A View: Remembering the "Nouns"

By Carol Harper

Happy Sunday, everyone! Today's brew with a view comes from City Brew in Casper, WY. I'm drinking their Bucking Horse blend (apparently, has a little more kick! haha), but for those with more medium-balanced tastes, they also have Northern Lights and Anniversary blends.

The ambiance is what I call "very Seattle", but don't let it fool you. Like everything, there are some stories and a bit of history behind it. Ask me and we'll talk about it...over coffee!

Casper is about a 1.5 hour drive from where I live (Riverton), and rather than give you the "skinny on the city", you can "Wiki read" about it at:,_Wyoming. Perhaps the biggest thing to happen to Casper lately was the solar eclipse back on August 21, 2017, when the city fell within the center line. I lived in California at the time, and would've loved to have been back here in my home state when the event occurred. From what I understand from the locals, the entire city was packed. The town centers, packed. Campgrounds, everything...packed. As I don't really do well in large crowds, I was content to see many photographers' postings on Facebook. But it did look like a really great time!

I've had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Had ribs at HQ Southern BBQ for lunch in Casper...really good, reminded me of a little place I used to go to in Nashville. Small, only a few tables, but...definitely Southern-style ribs, award-winning macaroni and cheese (although I don't think anyone can rival my sister, Kim's, mac n cheese), and the cornbread was like eating "dessert first"! Went to a pretty huge car show for a bit, then attended the Cowboy Country & Bluegrass Jam held at the historic Hotel LaBonte in Douglas...and then explored the area and the beauty that is Wyoming. Again, like I've said just don't do some of these areas justice. I often rub my eyes, pinch myself and make sure it's not a dream that I live in such a beautiful state.

The photos below are of a place called Ayres Natural Bridge. I think I've found my paradise camping spot. The campgrounds are protected by a red rock cove, and a "river runs through it", the result of which is the natural bridge you see that has been carved out over time. Again, you can Wiki-read about this too, at:

There was a pasture of bison that I had to stop and video. The video is on the Coffee Pong Facebook page (, but I was able to get close enough to get a shot before they were on the move:

As I experience and explore the "nouns" of my life (people, places and things), I find that I am most grateful that I am free to travel around the state of Wyoming without having to stop at military or police check to attend attend local community listen to live local music, to take photos without having to produce a passport or papers. Freedom to gather for picnics, barbecues, camping, etc., and that our families and friends don't have to produce passports, papers or be stopped at a check point.

My new mug matches
my laptop mouse!
In so many places in the world, these freedoms still do not exist. My coffee with a view this week is that we remember, this and every Memorial Day, that freedom isn't free. It comes with a great price, at great cost, and I'm not talking about money. That's not to say the U.S. doesn't have many problems of its own; there have been so many rights and freedoms that have been exploited and taken for granted. Still, I believe that the United States of America is the greatest country in the world, and I can only hope that we can work together to help solve the problems and heal our nation.

The past is the past; we cannot change it. Wars have been fought. Injustices have been done. But in my opinion, we can only strive to improve the present, right here, right now, and hope for the future. How do we do this?

Be good, be nice, be strong. This is my motto, my "words to live by" in order to initiate changes in the world for the better, because it truly does start with me, with us. Be good; don't be bad. Be nice; say/do no harm to others. Be strong; we all have our trials. Make sure they make you better, not bitter. Let's remember that the nouns of our lives - the people, places and things - are what shape each day, from sunrise to sunset, and consequently determine the paths that network through our life journey. And when I come to the end of my life, how do I want my "map" to look? I recently lost a friend to suicide, and her map was very complex. But she was a part of my journey, we "crossed paths" several times, and every time was with joy and celebration. That's what I choose to remember about the "people" nouns. My mother used to say: "If you're happy, joy in it. If you're not, do something about it."

The places I've visited since moving back home have certainly made me happy, as many of you know. As far as things, I live a pretty simple life; I don't need a whole lot. We get barraged daily with so many ads and commercials, marketing campaigns, etc. thinking we need more, better and faster that (I don't know about you, but) just increases my anxiety. Give me the simple life, and then, if I am able, maybe I'll have the means to invest a little extra into the other nouns of my life.

Lastly...I post this reflection every Memorial Day weekend, and every year it seems to always be appropriate to post:
Especially this excerpt:
"Please, take some time this weekend. Just a moment, it doesn’t have to be long. Maybe have a moment of silence or say a little prayer over your Memorial Day barbecue, but think about Memorial Day as a day of sacrifices, both past and present. Think about our military all over the world. Think about them, not as a unit or a platoon, or on some base off in the middle of a desert in a foreign country. These are America’s sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles. Think about our veterans. They have stories to tell that will help us to never, ever forget why they fought for America—why they did what they did, and why they are who they are today..."

© 2018 Carol Harper. Contact:

1 comment:

  1. Hi Carol! I finally looked up your wonderful blog (I was the barista that helped you out at City Brew...) I thoroughly enjoyed our conversation the other day and I absolutely enjoyed this post. Very eloquent with some beautiful thoughts to share. I wish you the best of luck in your travels and I hope you come back to visit us!