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The Newcomer

Coffee-the friendly drink

Plop! Plop! Plop!

I woke up to that sound as a little kid. Coffee perking in an old aluminum pot sitting on mother's wood stove.

It was a friendly sound to wake up to. It meant the house was warm, mother was in the kitchen and all was right with my world.

No one ever entered my mother's house without being offered a cup of coffee.

I didn't drink coffee until I was a teenager, and then I had to doctor it with sugar and cream (real cream) to tolerate it.

By the time I was 30, I was drinking it hot and black and by the potful. With a slab of rhubarb pie by the dawn's early light after hubby was sent off to work and the kids weren't yet up. Later, when I started working, it was still black, hot and plentiful as I worked to put together a weekly newspaper.

Coffee had become a part of my life, and I scarcely thought about it. Just poured it. Drank it. Sometimes threw away more than I drank.

By the time espresso rolled into popularity, I had given up coffee. Caffeine aggravates vertigo and it wasn't doing my innards any good either. The few times I would indulge, I went back to the cream and sugar routine of my youthful years...coffee just didn't taste so good to me any more.

Then my daughter, caffeine lover that she is, introduced me to mochas. I could kid myself into thinking that milk and chocolate diluted the caffeine, and I could have one now and then.

Since coming to work at the Sun, 'now and then' has become a weekly, sometimes semi-weekly, event. I have worked out a little system with The Daily Buzz, the espresso stand that sits right next to the newspaper office.

As I roll out on my morning run to the police station, the ladies at The Buzz start to work on my de-caf mocha if I raise one finger. If that one finger is wiggling like crazy, they know I need a caffeine lift.

You just can't get around it-there's something friendly about coffee. Even if I have to smother it in chocolate and milk.

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