Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A sad moment in the house of Utter Chaos

It finally happened. Dan retired his coffee pot.

His coffeepot is an OLD Mr Coffee, hang from the kitchen cabinet Spacemaker model that he inherited when his grandma passed away in 1995. I remember the day they went through her apartment and divvied up all her belongings. I didn't feel it was my place to go, so I stayed home, asking Dan to just get one family picture -- of his great grandparents' wedding -- if no one else wanted it. He came home with that picture, a brass bookshelf, and the coffeepot.

Gram was one of those old school grandmas who was forever cooking. She'd fix a huge spread for breakfast then, while complaining that I ate like a bird (I remember those days!), she'd be asking what we wanted to have for dinner. You never left Gram's house hungry, and somewhere between arriving and leaving, you'd perhaps play some poker and hear her say "Herb, fix me a highball" right before dinner.

Gram had three husbands: Dan's grandpa, who died in his fifties, Kenny, who died of cancer, and Herb, who died a couple of years before she did. As Dan said, she married 'em and buried 'em. And the funny thing was that she never let them see her without her wig. Now, I'm sure that Grandpa Utter did at some point -- maybe -- but when I met her, she was married to Herb, and trust me, he NEVER saw her without her wig. Grandma had open heart surgery, and when they wheeled her away wearing her blue cap on her head, Herb chuckled. He had been given her suitcase, and remarked that her wig was in there, and he'd finally see her without it. He was wrong.

When we went to see her after surgery, there she was in ICU, on a ventilator, with chest tubes and tubes everywhere. There she lay, and we didn't even have a moment to get worried, because we were too busy laughing, because there she was, out like a light, with her wig on her head! I looked on the wall, and there was her list of orders. Written in big red letters it said "Patient's husband has never seen her without her wig. Please put her wig on ASAP."

Score one for Gram.

She went to our wedding two months later, and we have her on video asking the cameraman "ya wanna see my zipper" while she put her leg up a little, to show off her scar from the surgery. Gram was a hoot.

And so it is that she has made Dan a cup of coffee every day since 1995. That coffeepot leaked sometimes, and would subsequently ruin things if we forgot and put them on the counter underneath it, but Dan persisted. The one day a week or so ago, he forgot and left his phone under it. Fortunately, we caught it before it ruined the phone, but the writing was on the wall. He hung on for a week or so, but after finding a new coffee pot in the basement, he took the old Mr. Coffee down and now uses the new Krups coffee maker.

I wanted to cry, watching that coffee pot come down.

But that was before we started discussing where the heck that Krups coffeemaker came from. After some discussion, we decided that his mom had bought it for him, and that brought some comfort. Dan's mom has been gone for three years now, but now SHE is making Dan coffee every day. And trust me, you can't get that kind of service at Starbucks.