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Time for a Kaffeeklatsch 

Kathy Werner
Posted 11/5/21

My grandmother, whose column appears in the lower left-hand corner of this page, was a big fan of the kaffeeklatsch or coffee klatch.

Although she never actually defined the term for me, I knew it …

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Time for a Kaffeeklatsch 

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My grandmother, whose column appears in the lower left-hand corner of this page, was a big fan of the kaffeeklatsch or coffee klatch.

Although she never actually defined the term for me, I knew it meant a gathering of neighbors and friends for a cup of coffee and cake and a chance to “visit”.

In fact, the literal German translation is “coffee gossip”. Ah, those Germans, they know how to cut right to the chase.

A kaffeeklatsch usually took place in the morning, between one’s housewifely duties of preparing the household breakfast and getting ready for the luncheon crowd. Imagine this scene in the 1940’s and 50’s, when most women stayed at home and husbands were at work and the kids were in school.

I have visions of women, some still in housecoats and curlers, walking over to a friend’s house, one carrying an electric pot of coffee to brew and one bringing a coffeecake. The coffee and the gossip were hot, but let’s not make it all sound negative. Often, I’m sure, there was a chance to support someone who needed a boost or to lend a hand to a struggling friend.

These gals would sit around the kitchen table with their cups of coffee, taking an hour or so break from their endless chores and enjoying some camaraderie.

When my kids were little, a group of friends would get together in the neighborhood for Cross Stitch Night. Once a month, we would go to someone’s home and sit around talking and stitching, followed by tea and cake. It was great fun and gave us all a much-needed chance to just sit and chat with friends.

Spending informal time with friends, just grabbing a meal or a cup of coffee, has been one victim of the pandemic. Now that everyone’s been vaccinated and getting their boosters, perhaps these get-togethers can resume with more frequency.

Maintaining contact with others is so essential to our well-being. In this world of screens that rob us of our time, it is important that we break away and connect with actual humans.

Of course, given the current situation, it is important that we do this safely, but we humans are social creatures and we need our kaffeeklatsches.

Oh, and I’ll bring the cake.

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