Yes, the title sounds like the name of a networking group and I think I have even been to one with that name. I have made some incredible connections over coffee, but that is not where I am headed.
This is about a hospital experience and a brand of coffee, Barnie’s Santa’s White Christmas. The flavor was introduced during the holiday season in 1995 and soon became a year-round favorite.
The label lists it as a comfort brand, and I concur. Nuts, coconut, caramel, and vanilla waft slowly out of my cup, the aroma soothing, and warm.
I first discovered Santa’s White Christmas in the Florida Hospital cafeteria during the many months I visited my mom after her open-heart surgery in 2004.
The escalator from the parking garage exits right by the cafeteria. It became a routine to pop in for my morning cup of coffee on the way to ICU where Mom spent many weeks due to complications. That is another story for another time.
When Keurig first entered the market, Barnie’s was not yet in the game. I often saw packages of ground SWC in the stores. I no longer had a traditional drip coffee pot and there wasn’t a Barnie’s store near me.
Then finally it happened! Barnie’s K-Cups hit the shelves and I stocked up on my favorite brew.
Drinking it makes me smile. It is a hug in the morning. Even though my mom was in dire straights during those months, I have good memories. It was my break from ICU; a rehabilitative walk to the cafeteria to clear my head, the coffee pots in the familiar corner beckoning me.
This week, I visited with a friend who was at the same hospital, her father having just had surgery. I headed down the familiar escalator and felt the pull, turning right and heading back to the area I remembered the coffee pots were located.
I sighed with relief. In the back corner, lined up on the wall was the coffee section, and center stage my beloved Santa’s White Christmas!
Memories flooded back and I stood there for a moment before I reached for a cup and filled it with the warm brew. Even though it’s the same product I enjoy every morning in my kitchen, I think this cup had something a little extra in it. Thanks for the hug!