Me: i’ll be in the backyard raking. Just call if there’s an emergency.
Three minutes later, phone rings. I sprint inside.
Dad’s grinning. Just checking, he says.
He must be feeling better.
The coffeemaker won’t work. It’s a Smith Boy Crisis.
Dad, fresh out of the ICU, is in the kitchen trying to make coffee. He’s leaning over his walker, fiddling with the machine. It’s not going well. He hits the start button. Nothing. Timer. Nothing. Clock. Nothing. It’s got no power.
Dad’s an analytical guy. He’s a master electrician and a brilliant problem solver. Suspecting we must have lost power in the kitchen area, he hits the switch for the light over the sink. Sure enough, nothing but darkness. It’s gotta be the power.
He gets me to push the reset switch on the nearby outlet. Problem solved. Except it doesn’t work. Still no coffeemaker. Still no light. He scratches his head.
When a reboot doesn’t work, what to do? Reboot again, of course. We try it once more. No coffee, no light.
I can see the wheels whirring in Dad’s brain. Blown circuit? Broken electrical line? Magic weasels? This is going to be a long, difficult, expensive fix.
Then he notices. The coffee pot is unplugged.
He plugs it in. It gurgles happily. And the light bulb goes off over his head (figuratively, of course.) The light bulb must have burned out.
I ask him where he keeps spare bulbs. Garage, he says. Second cabinet, top shelf, second compartment. Sure enough, there they are. How does he do that? At my place, I’d say “Huh? You’re supposed to have spare bulbs?” I screw in the new one, answering the age-old question, “How many copy editors does it take to screw in a light bulb?” Your probably had to be there.
What are the odds of both events happening at the same time? Truly the perfect electrical storm.
We pour a cup of coffee and read the morning paper in our newly illuminated kitchen.
It’s the dawn of a new chapter …