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Coffee Klatch in Grandma's Kitchen

By Nancy Goodell
Posted: 02/24/2021

(Written by Nancy Goodell)

Monday is a busy day for me. I see my clients and have a two-hour work session with my administrative and technology assistant. In other words, my day is full from 7:00 AM until 7:00 PM. Yet I have been fascinated with the concept of Monday Morning Coffee Klatch ~ folks coming together for informal conversation and a cup of coffee ~ now all by Zoom of course. So last week I tried it. The experience was more than just pleasant for me. The upbeat conversation was playful and I witnessed the value of people checking in with each other. What I soon realized was that this connection was a smart mental health practice during what has been, and still is, a very challenging time for all of us, especially those living alone. What unfolded was a heartwarming experience that I had not anticipated.

          When I was a child, my family used to visit my Swedish grandparents on a farm in Nebraska. Grandpa and Grandma Jake had chickens, cows, horses and a very productive vegetable garden and orchard. My grandmother loved to cook, she had the gift of fresh milk and cream daily, and abundant vegetables and fruit from the farm’s harvest. She was always busy in her kitchen, which included a wood burning stove, for a good part of the day. Her kitchen was where friends and family gathered for “Kitchen Chatter.” Grandma rarely sat even when guests were around. She continued to “putter” – chopping vegetables, baking cinnamon rolls and making cream sauces for most everything we ate. Fresh coffee seemed to always be brewing on her big black stove. The smells were rich and inviting. The conversations were stimulating, usually playful but not always.

          What happened for me last Monday when I tuned into Coffee Klatch via Zoom was that I had a flash back to my experience in Grandma’s kitchen. During the Coffee Klatch gathering, I was busy fixing my breakfast. I didn’t sit down, but I was able to join into the conversation because it was playful and chatty. I felt happy, relaxed, and connected to these folks who were all new friends to me. What a gift! I have reflected upon my childhood kitchen experience and my Village Coffee Klatch experience throughout this week. Both were truly heartwarming. What an unexpected gift! I am so grateful. I carried that positive emotional energy with me all week. I look forward to 9:30 next Monday.

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