Friday, June 18, 2010

The Liquid of Life

I have often used that phrase to describe my relationship with coffee. It is an addiction I share with my mother: we both require a regular infusion each morning before we are alive enough to start each day. What I didn't realize was how many people share that need in the small circle of my family. My sister had her baby at the end of May and we had family come to witness and greet my little niece. 

The first arrival was my little Italian grandmother. Her need for coffee seemed to satisfy the need to do something with her hands. Holding a hot cup kept her settled and in one place, settling the nerves that had her jittery and pacing while we waited. At one point, and I have no idea how she managed it, she even convinced the nurses on the night shift to bring her a cup out of their break room.

Next came my brother-it-law's parents. They had woken-up extra early and driven in that darkness that comes before dawn in order to make it in time. And then they settled in for the wait. No pit-stop at Starbucks necessary, they wanted to be present for their grand-daughter's birth. Yet around 9 pm, when we were sequestered in the waiting room while my niece was almost ready to make her first appearance, even they needed some caffeine to push through. Unfortunately, after scouring the hospital for an open coffee shop or even a coffee machine, they had to settle for a Coke.

Then, a week after my niece's birth, my mother's family flew up from Miami.  Their relationship with coffee is more casual. A cup is simply a necessity to start each day. And it's a nice way to extend every meal as you sit with a cup and continue the conversation. During their visit, we even broke out the expresso machine, because you simply cannot find any cafe cubano in this town.

Everyone who has come to welcome my little niece to the world has had their own relationship with my favorite beverage. My pet phrase certainly rings true, it is indeed the liquid of life.


  1. I always referred to it as "the elixir of life," but the emotion behind it is the same! Funny how coffee is so much a part of our life and our traditions. Nice post!

  2. I love, love, love coffee. Although lately I've come to appreciate a nice cup of chai tea. One of the best experience in my life was having a cappuccino while in Rome! The italians really know how to do coffee! Love the whole concept of your blog. Very insightful and inspiring!