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In the course of any long-term project – even if that “project” is getting through the week – a pause for evaluation and a restorative breather are essential. They’re balm to one’s well being if the going’s been tough.

But a pause, a break, a few moments of staring into nothing more substantial than the steam rising from a cup of coffee benefit the goals of any project as well.

This month has been challenging. I’m in the midst of an unplanned move since owners of my apartment building were accused of the largest tax-fraud in the history of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Additionally, a dear loved one was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, so I’m trying to educate myself about the disease and about being a caregiver.

And now that summer’s here and I’m not teaching, I’m working on growing Stonefruit Cellar LLC. Today I had a meeting with my Executive Mentor with whom I’m working via the Small Business Association. On the agenda? Reviewing my Business Plan. Lucky for me, their offices are near Istanbul Gyro & Kebob, 723 Monticello Avenue in Norfolk. So we stopped in for some Turkish coffee. I’ve been here only a few times, but the food has been excellent each time. If you’ve lived in Norfolk long enough, you may remember the 24-hour diner that once occupied this tiny space by the Greyhound Station.

Well, Istanbul is a fantastic addition to Norfolk restaurants – featuring all the seductive flavors of Turkish and Middle Eastern food. A recent review on Urbanspoon swoons, “…the best Gyro and Baklava I’ve ever had and that includes a trip to Greece and Turkey.”

Today, all I was interested in was a pick-me-up, and this Turkish coffee was just the thing. Bracing, yet sweet. A mix of delicate and bold. After reviewing and discussing the finer points of my Business Plan with my Executive Mentor, I came home and read up on Turkish coffee.

Did you know? The term, “Turkish coffee” refers to the style of preparation, not really the coffee itself. Brewing Turkish coffee utilizes particular and beautiful instruments. For example, roasted coffee beans are finely ground and boiled in a pot called a cezve. Finally, it’s served in a tiny cup where sugar is added and the grounds are allowed to settle. There are variations according to how much sugar is used. Sade means the coffee is sans sugar, while Az Sekerli makes use of half a sugar cube. Orta gets you one sugar cube and Sekerli is sweetened with two cubes.

And how about this? Tasseography is a type of fortune-telling in which the future is read from the dried coffee grounds of a cup of Turkish coffee.

I’m not sure I’m ready to peek into the cosmos yet. But I’ll be sure to maintain respites like this one, placed along my path like cubes of sugar before a fresh-brewed, delicate cup.

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