Time for Tarrazu

The other day we got some coffee that reminded me of Wisconsin–Costa Rica Tarrazu. Unexpectedly, it was available at a little store in town. In fact, it’s called Royal Tarrazu. I’m not sure why it’s called “royal”; it’s sold out of a company in Staten Island. Why does it remind me of Wisconsin?

We moved there briefly several years ago, when I got a position in private practice. It didn’t work out, but that’s obviously a different story.

We bought Tarrazu for the first time at Cost Plus World Market while visiting Wisconsin in the process of getting ready to move there. We really liked the area and the coffee. For the longest time we thought you couldn’t get it anywhere else but at World Market. Otherwise, it’s sort of difficult to come by. We bought a couple of bags at a World Market store in Seattle when we vacationed there back in October of last year.

That also reminded of getting my Wisconsin medical license. It was a long and complicated process. I even had to take a short written test. I can’t recall having to take a test to get my Iowa medical license. I’m pretty sure I didn’t take a test to get my Illinois license, which is yet another story. I thought it was quite an ordeal getting my Wisconsin medical license.

And now, because I’m going into retirement, I inquired about the process of getting my license inactivated or withdrawn or whatever. I couldn’t figure out what it was on the web, so I thought it might be just as complicated as obtaining my license. I had to send the board of professional regulation an email message asking about what I’m supposed to do. Maybe there would be another test.

It turns out all I have to do is not apply for renewal. It’s as simple as not paying the fee. I was told to ignore it, in plain terms. It seems too easy. I probably shouldn’t say that too loud.

It’s odd to have to work 8-10 years in medical training, sweat bullets to get a license to practice, work for decades, all the while renewing your license every 2-3 years (to say nothing of the endless, empty busywork of Maintenance of Certification)–and then just forget about the medical license when you’re ready to retire. There’s something off balance there, but I’m not complaining.

Tarrazu and the Wisconsin medical license were two new experiences that happened about the same time. I associate Tarrazu with excitement about new experiences, future opportunities, the unknown, adventure-is-out-there possibilities.

And now Tarrazu is linked to retirement. It’s a little hard to link that to the adventure-is-out-there possibilities–but who knows? It could be. I used to make Shoofly Coffee Cake before I got too busy with things like organic chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy, immunology, physiology, MCAT, exams of various types, call schedules, patients, regulations, bureaucracies, forgetting things like wedding anniversaries, sleep deprivation, and whatever.

The long flight to the sun is over and I consider myself lucky. The glue melted from my wings and instead of plummeting into the ocean I drifted into the labyrinth and just like the ant with a string tied to his butt by the father of Icarus, I finally found my way through all the twisty turns of the spiral path–to a little table.

I’ll set the table with Tarrazu and Shoofly. I’ll spy on birds’ nests and pay more attention to the garden, although I doubt I’ll be allowed to do much in it because I can’t tell a weed from periwinkle. I’ll spread mulch until the woodchuck chases me into the street. I’ll wash and wax the car until it rolls into the neighbor’s yard because I forgot to set the parking brake. And yes, I’ll clean the bathrooms, using dishwashing liquid instead of toilet bowl cleaner because, what the heck, cleaners are all the same, aren’t they? I’ll cut my wife’s hair instead of her cutting mine all the time, and we’ll get used to her with a Sinead O’Connor look.

I’ll grind the Tarrazu beans, and pick them up wherever they’ve shot like bullets into every corner of the kitchen because I left the lid off the grinder. I’ll go to the ER where a colleague will try to keep from laughing as he plucks a coffee bean from my eye. Medicare will pay my ER bill–maybe. I’ll make the Shoofly, giving us diarrhea because our digestive systems will probably not tolerate the milk and molasses anymore. I’ll do more of the grocery shopping, generally getting a dozen Tombstone pizzas and forgetting the toilet paper.

It’s gonna be great.


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