Valentine’s Day mugs of hugs!

COFFEE WITH WARREN, with Warren Harbeck
Cochrane Eagle, February 11, 2021

From cups of light to mugs of hugs, what a delightful week this has been since last week’s column on the late cartoonist Bil Keane’s Family Circus note to me which closed with young Jeffy asking, “Is there a hot chocolate with Warren?”

From your many enthusiastic responses, it was clear that one kind of cup was very much present: a cup of light. Here’s just a sample of your reactions.

Calgary reader G. L. “Larry” Spackman, a non-coffee-drinker himself, wrote: “That made me smile; little Jeffy could have been me. So glad to hear there is still hot chocolate with Warren, especially for those of us who don’t drink coffee.”

Of course, Bil Keane, in his note to me, was responding at the time to my query of him whether he had done many cartoons on literacy. He responded most positively. About his support for the importance of literacy, Cochrane reader Marlis McDouall commented:

“Very sweet, Warren. During idle moments when I let my mind wander, I think about what my life would be like if I could not read or write. I would miss out on the written word in books, magazines and newspapers. I would miss out living elsewhere, experiencing new situations, emotions and feelings, just by reading a book. Who or what would shape my perceptions and attitudes, could I not read? My mind, my comprehension, would stay shallow, and maybe so would my heart, could I not read.”

Yes, it’s that very joy of reading that made last week’s column available to another of our coffee companions, Gloria Cowley, of Rafter Six Ranch fame. “Love it!” she wrote. “A nice light message in an otherwise dark world.”

Also from Cochrane, Judy Sikorski agreed. “What a wonderful article. loved his cartoons. Loved them! What an honour that Jeffy wanted some hot chocolate with Warren!”

And from B.C.’s Fraser Valley Karin Henderson wrote: “Isn’t that what coffee klatches are for?” To emphasize the role of coffee as a catalyst for connecting each other in person, she added that, when she goes food shopping during these lock-down days, she sees groups of “happy guys sitting in a parking space, all apart in their chairs, with their coffee cups, having a grand time.”

Yes, virtual visits will never replace the joy of sipping coffee – or hot chocolate, or whatever – with one another across a café table, in our homes, or even in a parking lot. These interpersonal times together are cups of light for our souls to cheer each other on in the sometimes-bewildering journey of life. And that’s why I’m so glad that, as of this week, we in Cochrane can once more enjoy sit-down table service in our favourite coffee shops.

But this week offers another great incentive for those heartwarming connections: Valentine’s Day! And for that occasion, there can be few better cups of light than the mugs of hugs served by our artistically talented baristas – mugs of hugs so inviting in their beautifully finished cappuccinos.

So as my valentine to you, dear readers, here’s my mug of hugs. Happy Valentine’s Day!


© 2021 Warren Harbeck

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