The signs of decay had begun slowly. We knew the eventual end was in sight, but it was something we couldn’t face.
Our decades-old friend was slipping. We made accommodations and cleaned up messes all in an effort to postpone the inevitable. Alas, we had to wave farewell last week to our faithful coffee maker.
You laugh, but that coffee pot had served us well, delivering a fresh pot to us every morning. Programmed to know our caffeine delights, it made certain a fresh pot was awaiting us every morning when we walked into the kitchen for breakfast.
The old girl was the most dependable thing we owned. While our other appliances required the occasional repairman visit, the coffee pot never let us down. She continued to brew our favorite beverage 365 days per year.
When she came into our lives, we really can’t pinpoint. My husband and I both remember she came as a Christmas gift one year from my sister and brother-in-law. Both of us believe our children were still pretty young when she came. They are both grown now and out of the house.
But it was that coffee pot that helped us parent during those baby years. Both of our children had colic, and as any parent of a child suffering colic knows, there is no rest for the weary. That crying goes on for hours. Non-stop. Regardless of how exhausted you might be.
Thank God for coffee.
For our son, we would brew a pot for dinner. His “fussy” time was early evening. For our daughter, the crying started at 11 p.m., so we brewed our pot during those months at midnight.
Thank God for coffee.
Sadly for my husband, he married a woman who can’t start her day pleasantly without a cup of coffee. And, thankfully for him, our coffee maker was his insurance that this wife might be a little subdued in the morning. That is, if he didn’t talk to me before that first cup. If he did, all bets were off.
Our coffee pot knew our rhythms. She knew that in the summer, she could slack off after the morning pot. In the winter, she might be called on a few times a day to produce.
And like the great coffee maker she was, she always came through for us.
About a year ago, we came downstairs on a Saturday morning and coffee was all over the counter. I blamed my husband and he blamed me. Neither of us blamed the coffee pot — she never made those kind of mistakes.
But it happened again. And then she began sputtering as she brewed.
We thought the end might be in sight, but we weren’t ready to give up the ghost. She still brewed the best cup of coffee any home brewer could make.
We ran vinegar through her. We made certain the grounds were only in the golden filter. We jiggled the carafe to make certain it was in the center of the heating unit.
All to no avail.
Our dear coffee maker was leaving us.
We went to the store to buy a new brewer. We looked at the same brand as our old, but decided we couldn’t go with a “wanna-be” of our great coffee pot. We would expect the same great coffee and the same longevity, and we knew that probably wouldn’t happen.
So we went with another brand altogether.
My husband got the new pot out and ready to run one night. We decided to give the old girl one last shot, and sure to her form, she ran beautifully giving us one of the best pots of coffee we’d ever had. For a week she ran flawlessly.
Then she breathed her last. It was more a whimper than a bang, just like the poet T.S. Eliot wrote of the world ending. And in a sense, our world did change.
The garbage truck took our beloved appliance last week. I must admit, a tear came to my eye as I recalled an era gone by in which she played such a crucial role in my life.
The new pot is working well, but I still hurt a little seeing it sit in my old friend’s spot on the countertop. Most importantly, it brews a great cup of coffee.
Yet it’s so hard to lose a loyal friend.