As usual, I fixed my pot the night before so that all I had to do was push the button and head back to bed for a short nap. When I returned to the kitchen a large puddle of coffee streamed out from the pot.
I cleaned up the mess, poured myself a cup, and headed back to bed. The coffee tasted weak, and to be honest, somewhat nasty. I’m picky about my coffee and that just didn’t cut it. I went back to the kitchen poured everything out and started over. I pushed the “ON” button, and nothing happened. I pushed it again—no response. I unplugged the pot and plugged it back in, same outcome.
Knowing how I am about my coffee, my husband went on Amazon and ordered a new coffee pot. Unfortunately, it must have been coming in on a slow boat from China because our speedy delivery arrangement did not work for the pot. Are they nuts? What was I supposed to do?
I never intended to be a coffee drinker. I blame it on Grandma Fisher. When we would go to her house, she insisted on making a fresh pot of coffee. “I don’t drink coffee,” I would tell her. Didn’t matter, she poured me a cup anyway. Then, she insisted you drink your cup of coffee so that she could read the coffee grounds in the bottom. Oh, yes, it was strong, hot, and had grounds in it.
Grandma Fisher was a little on the spooky side. While we drank our coffee, she would regale us with stories of her dire predictions of death, and sure enough the person died. Well, you know, I just jumped up and rinsed out my cup.
Grandma may have gotten me started, but Jim reinforced my habit daily. At home, we drank our first cup of coffee in bed each morning. When we traveled on our annual trips to Colorado, he took his Coleman camp stove and his drip pot. He stopped at rest areas periodically to make fresh coffee for the thermos. One of the most telling moments of how devastating dementia can be was the morning at a hotel when Jim couldn’t remember how to make coffee.
One morning Jim prepared to make coffee in the in-room coffeemaker. He picked up the pot, set it down, picked it up, and set it down. He looked around in confusion trying to decide what to do next. From the bed, I said, “Put coffee in the basket.”
“Oh! That’s right.” He added the coffee and then acted like he expected the coffee to make itself.
“Put water in the pot.”
He put water in the pot.
“Pour it in the top”
He poured it in.
“Turn the pot on.” He turned it on. As soon as the coffee was done, he was back in full form. He poured the coffee into the thermos, cleaned the pot, and brought me a cup of coffee in bed.
As I got ready for bed the evening after my coffee pot quit, I contemplated going to town for a cup of coffee the next morning. I figured I could just wear my jammies. Maybe I would need to get more than one cup… Then, the light bulb went off and I remembered I had a four-cup Mr. Coffee in the kitchenette downstairs.
Anyway, I got by until my new pot came in. I decided to take advantage of the bells and whistles and set the clock, the timer, and put the dial on auto. The next morning, the coffee wasn’t made, so I pushed the brew button. Later, I looked the pot over. “Did you set it on AM or is it on PM,” my husband asked. What a silly question, but I checked anyway. Ooops. So I reset it for AM and the second night, I went to bed knowing I would have a hot pot of coffee ready when my alarm went off. Nope. Cold pot, no coffee. That time my husband read the instruction book and informed me that I’d skipped a step. Well, the third time was a charm. I loved waking up to Folgers in my cup.
I thought about the expression—the third time is a charm. I realized it means that I never gave up although I had already failed two times. So is the third time really a charm, or simply a matter of perseverance?
Copyright © October/November 2020 by L.S. Fisher