Monday, January 9, 2017

Grandpaw liked his coffee

Grandpaw Hutchins liked his coffee strong. So strong in fact that he thought instant coffee one of the greatest innovations ever, because he could brew a strong pot of Maxwell House and then add a teaspoon of instant granules to his cup to give it that much more horsepower. He must have drank two, three pots of coffee a day: no lie. He also was a quiet man who rarely if ever raised his voice. He let his actions speak for him. One day coffee, his manner, and Grandmaw Hutchin's will all came together in a profound, sublime way.

It was one of those typically hot, sticky North Carolina summer days which are well known in the south. At the time, though, all they had for cooking was a wood stove. Keeping that stove going on such days made the kitchen, indeed the whole house, tremendously uncomfortable. Finally Grandma had had enough of it. When breakfast was over, she announced that from that day forward until the weather began to cool, the stove also would be allowed to cool during the day. When the breakfast embers died, the stove would not be fired up again until it was time to make supper.

Grandpaw didn't say a thing. He simply slid back from the table, grabbed his hat, and walked out the front door. About 45 minutes later he returned with an electric hot plate. He had walked the mile to the nearest store (he didn't drive), bought that hot plate, and came home. A cool stove meant no hot coffee. He couldn't have that. Yet demanding the stove be kept burning against Grandmaw's orders, well, he couldn't have that either. So he improvised a conclusion which was satisfactory for all.

I think he handled the situation just right. Don't you?

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