Thursday, May 26, 2011
"There was coffee. Life would go on."
These lines are from William Gibson's brilliant short story "The Winter Market," and pretty much sum up my and Gary's take on mornings. (We use the quotation all the time; it's one of our tag lines.) So imagine our distress this morning when our industrial-strength coffee maker died. We have an emergency-backup French press, so we survived, although we consider the coffee quality inferior. Tonight we went shopping for a new coffee maker, though.
We got a Krups at Bed, Bath & Beyond. It was pretty pricy, but this is an essential home item, so it's worth the investment. Then we went next door to World Market, because Gary was thinking about getting more Adirondack chairs for our deck.
"Honey," I said, "we have enough chairs." In fact, we have chairs stacked in the garage we don't even use regularly. We used them for Dad's memorial service last July; we'll use them again for our Worldcon dinner party this coming August. We need them when we need them, but we just don't entertain that much.
So we didn't get any more chairs. Gary got a $29 side table, though, because he couldn't stand the idea of going into Memorial Day Weekend without any deck furniture to assemble.
Meanwhile, I browsed around the store. I love World Market because it has some of everything, and also brings back happy memories. In 2001, I spent Christmas with my father in Mississippi. He'd had quadruple bypass about a month beforehand, and he really needed me there. It was very much a turning point for the better in our relationship. Before I went down, I asked if he wanted anything from Reno for Christmas, and he said, "A baby elephant." So I went to World Market and got a bunch of elephant stuff: elephant ornaments, an elephant mug, an elephant wall hook, an elephant picture frame, and so forth. That shopping expedition was really fun -- one of my best Christmas memories -- and since then, the elephant items at World Market have always cheered me up.
I needed cheering up today. I'm fed up with the book (although I'm doggedly plowing through it), completely stuck on -- and panicking about -- the homily I have to write for Sunday, being pecked to death by small pieces of paperwork from a blizzard of sources, and basically out of sorts. I worked out on the elliptical for forty minutes before dinner, which helped quite a bit, but I was still cranky.
So I wandered through World Market, smiling at elephant soap dishes and paperweights and wall hangings and mosaics. I didn't buy any elephant things, though. There's just too much stuff in the house (including the elephant gifts I gave Dad that Christmas, and inherited after he died), and anyway, we'd just gotten the expensive coffee maker. I decided I could get a few very small items if they'd get used up, rather than sitting and gathering dust. So I bought two dark chocolate caramels with sea salt (a decadent little treat Gary and I shared in the car on the way home), a small box of fruit-shaped marzipan (because I love marzipan and my mother always gave me some for Christmas), a small tube of jasmine-scented hand lotion for my purse, and a slightly larger bottle of orange-scented body lotion to use after I shower.
Now my hands smell good, and I've eaten a little chocolate, and I have the marzipan stored away as a future treat. So I'm feeling better.
And there will be coffee tomorrow morning. Life will go on.