I’ve been rambling about home maintenance catastrophes for a while. You’d think I’d be done. You’d think it would be over. Time for a Curmudgeonly Gem of Insight:
“It is never over.”
Less than twenty-four hours after “solving” the basement situation (including dropping a wad of cash!) I headed out on a work trip. Everything seemed peachy keen.
The next morning, 700 miles and three states later, I texted Miss Curmudgeon; “Good morning dear how is it going?”
The response was instant; “There Is No Coffee!” Of course all hell broke loose as soon as I left. Why would I expect anything different? Life is like that.
A lack of coffee was unexpected. We don’t just have coffee, we have stockpiles of coffee. Behind the stockpiles of coffee we have more coffee. Here and there, in nooks and crannies in our pantry, there’s more coffee. That’s the coffee we forgot about while we were stacking the piles of coffee in front of our other piles of coffee.
Now, as a man, I have been informed by society that I’m a raving idiot. More to the point I had to find a way to ask Mrs. Curmudgeon what the hell happened to several hundred dollars worth of coffee without actually asking the question at hand which was “what the hell happened to several hundred dollars worth of coffee?” Such is the mystery of men and women and the way we communicate. I paused. I pondered. I gave up.
“What the hell happened to our coffee?”
The response was instant; “There was a big storm last night.”
Storm? Possibly the house had been blown “Wizard of Oz” style into the sky and dropped in a lake? This would explain the lack of coffee. I suspected Mrs. Curmudgeon would mention the destroyed house before mentioning lost coffee. I couldn’t be sure.
More information arrived; “The dog was totally freaked out.”
This wasn’t helping. The dog doesn’t drink coffee.
More information; “Trees are down all over.”
Still not getting the coffee thing…
More information; “The power is down.”
Suddenly I understood, the coffee wasn’t gone at all but the coffee maker was dead. “So there is coffee in the house but no electricity to run the coffee maker?”
“Yes! I want some damn coffee!”
Now Mrs. Curmudgeon doesn’t just like coffee, she LIKES coffee. I like coffee too. The two of us, if we had no coffee, would be a menace to civilization. This is why we stockpile it like some people stockpile ammo. If she was sitting in the dark, without coffee, something or someone was about to die. I wasn’t in the same time zone. I said a silent prayer for my dog.
Side Note: Mrs. Curmudgeon’s (and my) favorite brand is “Death Wish Coffee”. It’s delicious stuff! I mentioned it here. We’ve brewed a ton of it and every cup is excellent. It’s not cheap but it’s worth every penny. You should buy a truckload of their stuff because life is too short to drink shitty coffee. (Yes, I even drink from big fancy mugs because it makes things more awesome!) If you’re drinking Folgers you’re missing the whole point of coffee and failing to enjoy the best stuff on earth. (As far as I’m concerned the best use of Folgers is serving it to guests you want to leave.) Incidentally, you don’t piss off your wife when she wants her Death Wish! I’m just sayin.
Still; cooking coffee sans coffee maker ‘aint rocket science. “So make some coffee?” I asked.
There are about 10,000 ways to make coffee that don’t require an electric coffee maker. I rely on my camping coffee kit. (Don’t give me that “cowboy coffee” horseshit either. If you haven’t been mauled by a grizzly you’ve got time to make proper coffee.) Somewhere in my random piles of camping gear there’s a little “coffee emergency kit”. Basically it’s a canvas bag with a jet boil stove and the necessary accessories; French press gizmo, a few sealed packets of “emergency coffee”, fire starting gadgets, nesting cups, water filter, etc… (A hip flask lives in there too. Decorum requires it.)
Whether it’s a fishing trip or the zombie apocalypse I’m not facing dawn without my morning ritual. Neither should Mrs. Curmudgeon. My heart went out to her.
I keep my “coffee emergency kit” with my first aid kit when I’m in the wilderness; both being of nearly equal importance. Alas I wasn’t sure exactly where I’d stashed it. Thus I couldn’t tell Mrs. Curmudgeon where to find it. (Later I realized it was with me in my truck. Good thing I didn’t tell her to rummage through sleeping bags and stuff in the dark!)
I should get a “break glass in case of emergency” box and setup a coffee “kit”. I’ll put it next to our “emergency” rotary dial phone, a shotgun, and the fire extinguisher. Hmm… yep, that’s a good idea and it’s now on my “to do list”.
There were other options. I have an old-style coffee percolator on the wood burning cook stove in my workshop. (Yes it’s clean and ready to go but no complaining about sawdust on the lid.)
As for heat, in addition to the jet boil we have two functioning woodstoves, the auxiliary burner on the barbecue, and several other camping stoves (in varieties that run on Coleman fuel, butane, and propane; all with fuel). Plus several other options too numerous to mention. We live where winter will kill you fast. I maintain dozens of options for heat.
“This is bullshit! I’m going to work.” Mrs. Curmudgeon interrupted my thoughts.
Sometimes I’m too much of a survivalist. Mrs. Curmudgeon, like all civilized human beings, has a coffee maker at her desk. I chuckled to myself. I’d have messed around with propane burners or camp stoves. I’d be fiddling with percolators and matches because driving to the office would not have occurred to me until after I had my first cup.
“Good idea. Good luck.”