Friday, February 3, 2012

The coffee grinder, rising like a phoenix...

Ironically, the very same week I conceded that my frequent and open expressions of gratitude are apparently annoying to some people, the coffee grinder fixed itself.

And if there was ever a time that I simply cannot repress my feelings of gratitude, this may be it.

A coffee grinder isn’t all that important, of course. And yet having it break seems like an inconvenience far out of proportion to the appliance itself, especially at 6:45 on a Tuesday morning. I had no ground coffee in the house, only whole beans. So without the grinder, there was no way to make coffee.

This development wasn’t completely unexpected. The grinder is almost ten years old, which is geriatric for an inexpensive electric kitchen appliance. And recently I’d noticed that it had been making sort of an irregular chucking noise when it was running. And I’m sure the fact that the particular kind of coffee I favor has a very high oil content doesn’t help when it comes to machine maintenance.

So I was disappointed but not shocked when it stopped working altogether on Tuesday morning. I took it apart and cleaned out each piece and reassembled it, but still, only a dry whirring sound rather than the reassuring roar of a successful coffee-grinding operation came out.

But the next morning, just on what felt like the most futile kind of whim, I turned the dial just one notch to the right, and it roared to life.

I have no idea why. I guess maybe it just needed a little vacation. This was a small thing, but there was something so satisfying about it because it left no room for ambiguity. The coffee grinder was working again, and I could have a fresh cup of coffee, and there were no further contingencies to address.

Meanwhile, other good things happened this week too. A family member who was expecting bad news on the medical front instead received news that was conditionally optimistic. The acute soreness left from my gum graft surgery last week began to subside. I finished my first small project for a new client and both of us were happy with the results.

The coffee grinder was probably the most trivial item on my entire list of problems earlier this week, and so my sense of delight when it inexplicably came back to life was probably somewhat out of proportion. But it was just so easily solved that I couldn’t help being pleased. Fresh coffee: a minor concern compared to health, pain relief or many other issues. But a fine reward nonetheless. And so once again I can’t refrain from expressing, yes, gratitude.

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