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Write It Out: Don’t overlook the magic of coffee

Christina Pollock’s mother, Alyce Deighton Taylor, in 1938.
Christina Pollock’s mother, Alyce Deighton Taylor, in 1938.

My mother always said to us kids: “Don’t ask me anything until I’ve had a cup of coffee. If you bother me before I’ve had my coffee, the answer is ‘no’. Period. I need my coffee.”

My mother was a registered nurse, and my dad was a licensed practical nurse. They both worked full-time and were very tired at the end of the day. From the time I was 5 until I was 8, they worked at Eastern State Hospital in Medical Lake.

We commuted daily from Spokane, and I attended school in Medical Lake through the third grade. So, after working in a stressful situation all day and then driving home – no freeway in the late ’50s and early ’60s – they were probably ready for more than caffeine.

However, caffeine it was. I was put on hold until they had consumed that wonderful first cup of the evening. I asked my mother why we had this particular rule in our house. She said the coffee cleared her head and relaxed her. It helped her face the evening.

I thought this was rather bizarre as I felt no need to clear my head. But the rule was written in stone. I tested it.

When I became a full-time working mother in the 1980s, it did not take me long to experience the use of this elixir of life for myself.

But don’t ask me about it until I’ve had my coffee!