Water bubbled, steam rose, the smell of French Roast coffee permeated the kitchen. Rich black liquid filled the pot. Richard and I stared at the pot willing it to fill faster. Sunday, day five of our freezing fog imprisonment.
Watching the news the night before, the weatherman said, “the ridge of high pressure will not be moving until Wednesday, if you want to see the sun, you’ll have to drive to Mt. Rainier.”
“What’s the longest stretch you’ve been without recordable sunlight?” I asked as I watched the pot fill to the two cup mark.
“Before this—four days,” Richard said, “and you?”
“Eight days, but it wasn’t this bad because it just rained,” I said looking from the pot to my cup and back. “But this is worse,” I said looking out the window, “you can’t even see ten feet in front of you and all the sounds are muffled. It’s creepy.”
“Yeah, I feel like some monster from a Stephen King novel is gonna walk through our backyard,” Richard said looking out the kitchen window.
The black gold rose to the four cup mark, eight cups to go. Our Mr. Coffee gurgled, hissed and let flow the sacred morning brew. Reaching the six cup mark he burbled and popped. Black liquid flowed into the pot and clear water flowed down its side.
“No, no, no,” I said grabbing the paper towel. “Richard turn it off before it spills onto the floor.”
“That’s not good,” Richard said unplugging the defunct coffee maker.
“I think it just gave up the ghost after ten years of faithful service,” I said running my fingers through my short brown hair, “your mom will be glad to know it lasted so long.”
“Why’s that?” Richard asked.
“Because she and your dad gave it to us for a wedding present,” I said laughing.
“Oh, I didn’t remember,” Richard said rolling his eyes.
“Well that’s cause it’s not a shop vac,” I said poking him in the side.
I cleaned the counter while Richard poured the salvaged coffee into liquid measuring cups.
“Well, if we use smaller coffee cups and add a little milk it’ll seem like more,” he said eyeballing a measuring cups.
After breakfast we ventured out to our local big box store looking for a replacement. Eyes still somewhat swollen, let’s face it it’s morning, we bee lined for the appliance section. Two shelves of coffee makers adorned the wall.
As I read the back of the current Mr. Coffee box, I heard Richard draw in his breath. At the far end of the shelves sat several Bodum French Presses. The shelf above my head, but at Richard’s eye level, played host to the Bodum Kenya.
“Fannie, can we have one of these?” Richard asked holding up the display model. “Have you ever tried coffee in a french press?”
I shook my head.
“It’s like night and day between that,” he said pointing to the box in my hand, “and this.”
We left the store with the french press. The aroma of fresh brewed coffee filled the house each morning for one week.
While washing the dishes, the glass carafe slipped from my fingers onto the dish rack and shattered.
“Richard, I don’t get it, why sell a press and not stock the replacement carafes?” I said looking at the shelf bare of any replacement parts for the Kenya.
“Well, there seems to be plenty of the others here on the shelf with replacement parts,” Richard said. “Oh, look at this tea pot, is this the coolest thing you’ve ever seen?”
Richard held up a glass and metal cordless tea kettle smiling like the Cheshire Cat.
We drove home with both kettle and carafe.
A rare January sun break in the Pacific Northwest filtered through the dining room window as Clarissa and Bunny entered the house for our Saturday coffee klatch.
“Honey, I can’t wait to try out this new carafe of yours,” Bunny said with her refined Texas accent her long blond hair swept back into a pony tail behind her head crowning her statuesque figure. “Every time I run into Richard on the street, he just raves about it.”
“Well, I purchased some Tully’s Breakfast Blend for us to try,” I said holding up the bag.
“Oh, you know Dr. McDreamy just purchased Tully’s don’t you,” Clarissa said lighting up, her red curls framing her round face. “He’s so adorable.”
The tea kettle boiled as I scooped coffee into the carafe.
“Now that’s some tea pot,” Bunny said taking the pot off the stand. “I’ve never seen one quite like it.”
“It’s a lot of fun watching the water boil,” I said laughing.
Pouring the boiling water into the new carafe, I stirred the grounds and placed the lid on the press. Turning my back long enough to put the spoon into the dish washer, the press snapped off the stem and sank sideways into the carafe, the handle followed in pursuit.
“Honey, is it supposed to do that?” Bunny asked as the handle hit bottom.
“No,” I said dropping my head. “It looks like we’ll be having tea today ladies.”
Later that morning, Richard purchased a high end French Press from Starbucks. Finally something Fannie-proof.
I washed it while the cordless glass tea kettle brought the water to a boil. Richard scooped the coffee into the carafe. He smiled at me extending me the honor of pouring the water. I poured the water and the top third of the glass tea kettle into the carafe.
The coffee grounds danced in the unbroken carafe while the top of the tea kettle bounced off the carafe, hit the counter, rolled and landed on the floor with a splash.
Carafe 1, tea kettle 0. Fannie 0 for 3.
Going old school, we pulled the all metal tea kettle out of the cupboard and three days later Richard’s mom sent me a sympathy card.