Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hannah's Special

It's Thursday morning after my eight A.M. radiation treatment. I'm sitting here at Adamo, both hands wrapped around a steeping mug of what I call, Hannah's Special.

Adamo is our favorite espresso shop, third room, Cheers - where everybody knows your name place - where our friends and our kid's friends gather in Puyallup. Jeff Bischoff is the proprietor of Adamo. He's here every day infusing his shop with love while brewing up espresso works of art, whipping up sticky, icing dripping cinnamon rolls, ordering savory, roasted beans from a local roaster, repairing refrigerators for the tenth time, waiting patiently for the local police to go home after their shift so that he can close up shop and make the half hour drive home in order to go to bed and then return again, first thing in the morning.

There is no drive up window. It's set back in off the street so it lacks drive-by visibility and yet, the place is full of community college students with books and laptops strewn across tables, moms stopping by after walking their laps around Bradley Lake, retired men reading the paper, church folks of every denomination, a woman with a mental health condition that sits in the corner peacefully not really connecting with anyone but content to just be with the crowd, and me.

My drink of choice in the past was a chocolate soy steamer, extra hot. Our daughter, Dani, laughed every time I ordered it. Shaking her head she'd say, "Mom, it's a soy hot chocolate." As an experienced barista, she is particular about her hot beverages and their appropriate names. What can I say? Since I have never been a coffee drinker, and hot chocolate sounds like a kid's drink, I went with chocolate soy steamer.

In October, after being diagnosed with breast cancer, I cut out soy due to its estrogen properties. The cancer in my breast is hormone receptive. Hannah, one of Jeff's baristas was with him behind the counter when I ordered my first non-soy hot chocolate. They reserved any strong reactions to the announcement of cancer and looked to me for cues on how to respond. "I'm good. Just a little bump in the road."

Without missing a beat, Hannah asked as she does with all of her customers, "Would you like whipped cream on that?"

"Why yes I would Hannah." I never do whipped cream. Calories!

"And, how about some peppermint sprinkles on that as well?"

"Sounds festive! I'd love it!"

Hannah goes the extra step by heating up an over sized mug before adding the chocolaty, peppermint creation so that the beverage retains it's yummy fervor. The drink is amazing. I tell her it is her best ever!

February 14th, Valentines Day is my last day of radiation treatment. What a fabulous gift of love. I'll be celebrating at Adamo with a steaming mug of Hannah's Special.


  1. Love it!! I think I want a Hannah's Special! Do you think I can ask for it by name down the road here in Tacoma? ;) I think I need to make a trip to Adamo's to visit with YOU!

  2. Great stuff Julie... I look forward to following along. I got some Vibram Five Fingers Bikila's on order... should be barefootin' soon.

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  4. Jen, I'm sure that Hannah's Special will go global but fairly convinced that nobody will be able to add the secret ingredient of Love like she does! I'll meet ya anytime at Adamo. Like Norm, I believe there is a stool with my name.

  5. Well, this was a surprise my girlfriend. I love you! x0 hugs
    As I read your writing, I was thinking, dang, she is still an awesome writer...and I love hot chocolate. I stopped off to get one just tonight as I was driving back from Tacoma General. My sister, Melody is having surgery tomorrow, so I'll be making my way back up there. I will be praying for you tonight and every night thereafter. It's been a while since we've chatted. I miss you and always love seeing you. Where is Adamo? I'm comin, tell me when is good.x0 Don't have a goggle account so Stacy signed in for me to post this comment. Love, Donna

  6. Sending huge hugs your way, Julie girl, and I'm there with you virtually, laptops in parallel, friendship that can take a bit of silence, peppermint sprinkles on top! <3 MaryAnn

  7. Oh Julie! I sent a comment, but apparently I am blog-challenged. I wanted to say that I am glad you have invited me on your journey--you are a creative soul with insights of wonder about the world, I am thankful to hear them!

    Nelson and I have adopted a phrase, not from Tolle, but from the Love Guru. "Nowhere? Now Here." No matter what is going on, it makes us laugh outloud.

    When you want to get together, please let us know, we would love to chat.