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In Which I Find I’m 29

It’s my birthday, and it’s 6:44 am. I’m in the cavernous shared showroom of Coava Coffee Roasters & Bamboo Revolution, a steaming cup of Ethiopian Kochere beside me fitfully reflecting the overhead lights on its sheeny surface. Outside, just past the old drill press that doubles as a table, cars and pedestrians splash refracted puddles as Portland starts to come down off its mount of frozen shock.


With a sense of astonishment, I find I’ve slipped over the brink into my twenty-ninth year. The past few years have held relocation/dislocation, childbirth & mothering, romance, professional accomplishment, education, lots of Dickens novels, and even more coffee. As I lift my cup to my lips and savor its buttery mouthfeel, decipher dried blueberries and honey overlaying a mellow wine with an oaky finish, I find I don’t even have the strength to wonder what will happen next.


You see, I am content. Though parenting a toddler had me in tears last night, though a hard deadline rides me now, and though I have absolutely no idea how this whole “two-parents-working-full-time-sans-childcare” thing is going to work out, I cam content. I have battled for love, and won. At twenty-nine I have borne my pain and know I will bear more in the future. And I have tasted my wine, sipped my magic, dabbled in miracle. I bear some scars and know I will earn more.


Fully engaged in the sensory whirlwind that is life, I pause while past, present, and future converge here in the early morning in Portland, Oregon. I find I am content.

Welcome to Soft Explosions!

View More:’s a cold, misty day in Kansas City and coffee is in the offing. Hi. I’m Emily McIntyre, and welcome to my blog. If you visited from The Planet D, thanks for taking the time to click over. I was honored to guest post there today!

This blog is a mixture of personalities, rituals, and craft businesses in the beverage industry and travel stories, snapshots, and how-to’s.

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May your day be filled with brilliance.


Autumn Musings


The stumbling, broken gait of this Radiohead song I’m listening to.
The cold air stroking my chest.
Flag hanging limp and dripping against a pearl-white sky.
Green leaves, red berries, golden leaves.
Fall diving headlong into winter, and I along with it.
A moment of solitude in the midst of…


Moment Suspended


Let your eyes pan the cluttered streets of this Midwest town. Feel the pulse of “I Kissed a Girl” played for the 103rd time this morning, take in the disheveled sorority sisters staggering down the streets. Smell the beer and hot chocolate surrounding you, take in the mumbling youth weaving in front of you and the eagle-eyed old man wheelchair-pinioned beside you. You are on the corner of Pine and Holden in Warrensburg Missouri, and Homecoming Parade is happening. The crisp air is kissing your cheeks and the sun warms your hair.

Midway through the columns of high school marching bands and Shriner motorbikes comes Amtrak like a wall. The parade stops. Hush descends. A boy near you pauses in a moment of frenetic activity, ┬áhis fingers clutching the cheap black handle of his pumpkin-basket. You watch him, see the sun slant across his shoulders, and can almost feel his heart beating. It’s 10:14 in the morning and a little boy is waiting for the candy to start again.

/ / /

Warrensburg, Missouri / morning / On the corner of Pine and Holden