I took my first sip of coffee while floating in a little red and gray boat in Nevis, MN. This small but friendly town boasts a population of 348 during the cold months and several thousand during the summer. Families come from near and far to fish, play and enjoy quirky events like Nevis’ pig races.
My family has been vacationing at In-We-Go Resort in Nevis for over 40 years. Some of my favorite childhood memories are from here. A whole week every summer of nothing but fun stuff. I learned to bait a hook, played cribbage with my Grandpa Don, and made homemade ice-cream with my Grandma June.
One particular morning the summer of ’93 my Dad and Grandpa Don had agreed to take me “Morning Fishing” … you wake up when the sky still says “ya’ll should still be sleeping”. Usually I prepared for these mornings by mixing up a cup of hot chocolate before jumping into the cold and dewy boat but something in my grandpa’s eyes (and the fact that the 6 hp Evinrude motor was already cranking) told me to “just get in”. About thirty minutes into this adventure, my hoodie and bright pink life vest were failing to keep me warm. As I was trying to figure out how much crap my Dad would give me for wrapping myself in the boat tarp, he opened his old green Stanley thermos. Did I want a cup? YES. Coffee became my new best friend. Not only was I cool and grown up enough to drink it… I was warm and tough. (The way my dad makes coffee, you have to be tough to drink it. My mom says it’s so strong a spoon could stand up straight in it.) I didn’t need my hot chocolate anymore.
There is something about coffee that invites me back to this place. It is a connector. It’s about sit and stay for a while, and have another. It’s about people, community, and belonging.
These days I bring the coffee. This year was the culmination of many summers dreaming of finding the perfect cup. Our Sumatran coffee is the one my Dad and I most enjoy sharing together. It’s full body and earthy flavor profile are reminiscent of that first cup.
Here’s to many more cups of Sumatran with Dad, and many more years fishing at In-We-Go.