Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Brave Little.... er Coffeemaker

My 4-cup coffeemaker gave up the ghost today. Went to the big kitchen counter in the sky. Sigh.

I've had that coffeemaker for over sixteen years! That's a long time for a small appliance. Particularly in these toss'em and buy a new one times. I remember the first time I realized that appliances weren't meant to be fixable anymore. It was probably 25 years ago at least. B.C., anyway. (Before Children - duh! I'm not THAT old) I tried to take my toaster to the local Fix-it Shop. Later, in another town, I'd look and not even be able to find such a thing as a Fix-it Shop, but I happened to know where one was at that point in time, because I'd drive by it out on the highway all the time. So, I took my toaster in and the guy took it from me, sort of peered inside, and said "Y'know, it would cost me more to fix this then for you to go to the store and buy a new one."

I remember feeling shocked and saddened and ultimately resigned. For me, it somehow marked the end of something. Maybe those elusive "good ol' days" - the ones where things were made to last, and so on. (Speaking of which, I just found out yesterday that our neighbor's '65 Ford pickup has been in their family since it was new. Still painted the same turquoise blue with a white top that the manufacturer, in a delusional moment, thought looked great, or retro, or something. I assumed he'd bought it old, like we bought and redid our '64 Chevy pick up. Cool, huh?)

So as I was saying, today our coffeemaker died. The ON light works, so I assume it's the heating coil. I bought that coffeemaker right after my first husband walked out on the family. He left light, taking his Navajo rug, his homemade couch, the recliner he got as a birthday gift from his mom, and the coffeemaker, which was a big ass ol' thing that made 12 cups at a time. Since he was by a huge margin the primary coffee drinker in the house, I replaced it by buying this small, just-the-right-size-for-a-single-adult coffeemaker and felt a small sense of recovery and smugness from the purchase.

All these years later, my little coffeemaker has shared many more stories with me. It's lived through three, four, maybe more carafe replacements. It's poured coffee to a new hubby (who is now also an old husband, but in age, not in the sense of being outgrown), it recharged the midwife that delivered William after back to back births, officiated over numerous birthday parties and superbowl gatherings, kept me awake during late night studying jags, woke us up for early morning get-on-the-road plans. It's served us during thousands of days of joy, occasional nights of sadness. It was in cahoots with my husband who brought me coffee in bed for the first eight years or so of our marriage. (we've been married fifteen, but he gave up when he started working nights. Although, now that he's finally back on a day shift, the tradition has been renewed!) It's been packed and carried to SEVEN new homes with us over the years.

And now it's gone. And we're all sad. Jeff said we should have a funeral. Say a few words. Sprinkle a few coffee beans over the grave. Strangely, that makes sense to me. But where, exactly, does one bury a coffeemaker? While we decide how to say farewell, on a more mundane level, I'll have to add "coffeemaker" to my list of things to buy at Walmart today. After all, coffee, as they say, is for the living. Or something like that.


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