Saturday morning I was the hostess on duty for the embroidery session. I’ve done this before. I can make coffee, set out Marcia’s yummy snacks, open the office door so everyone can find the frame they’ve been working on. Well. This past Saturday, the Stars were aligned in Klutz.
I was running a few minutes late, which my loving family and friends will tell you is pretty much my usual operation procedure. I’ve come to accept this as a character flaw. Anyway, I thought, it’s grey and drizzly, I’ll get there before any of the embroiderers, they’ll be lingering over coffee . . . not so much. At 8:37 half a dozen cheerful volunteers were standing out front, enjoying the fact that it wasn’t pouring cats and dogs. They all were very forgiving of my lateness, trooped in and got right to work.
I set off to make coffee, but the water cooler was out of water. I’ve loaded the 5-gallon bottles onto the cooler loads of times, but today it just . . . got away from me. I dropped the whole thing, and as I scrambled to pick it up before it glugged over the whole floor, it bounced and the bottom broke right out. Glug, glug, glug.
This is a coffee-drinking group, so I left the water on the floor (couldn’t really hurt anything) for the moment, grabbed another 5-gallon jug, proceeded to spill about another gallon trying to tip it into the cooler, but did manage not to drop it. I poured out a pitcher of water, squelched out to the coffee maker, pour, scoop, turn on.
After a hurried search, I determined that there is no mop in this building. Mop handle, mop bucket, no mop head. Makes sense, who wants a dirty damp mop stinking up a closet? But a mop would’ve helped. I threw an armful of rags onto the fairly deep puddle, poured some milk into the carafe – what is that smell? Whew! The milk’s gone off. ‘Kay. Marcia called to let me know that she had to go out but the breakfast snack was on the table in the kitchen, which gave me the opportunity to ask if we may we have some milk, please? Yay. Marcia to the rescue, sent up milk with the really fabulous berry coffee cake.
Check the coffee. Why is there only a half pot? Yikes! the grounds overflowed, the basket is full of water and grounds, the pot is full of grounds. OK. Try the big coffeemaker in the kitchen. Pour the water, measure the coffee – here’s Marie!
Marie is one of our child volunteers. She had made previous arrangements to come up this morning to find some warmer clothes to take her through the autumn. I forgot. Set her up looking for wool stockings (thanks, volunteer knitters!) and then shoes that’ll fit with them.
Back to pick up the wet rags – wait! This pot is done, but still only half full. Grrrr. This is one of those pots where you put in water and it pushes out the water that was put in last time, which is already hot. Coffee faster. Unless there’s not enough water in from last time, which was what happened here. Put a little more water in. Panic. People want coffee. Put more water in. A little more. Ah, here it comes. Full pot – fuller pot – STOP! Switch pots. Taste coffee. This is acceptable. Leave the coffeemaker with a second pot to catch the overflow, leave the wet rags for now – set out coffee, the milk from Marcia, open the coffee cake, announce coffee’s ready! Wait, who is that?
Oh, no, is it 9:45 already? Again, previously made arrangements to meet with Vicki, newest Colonial Interpreter. Vicki was coming this morning to pick up her period clothes, get a little intro-to-period-plain-sewing lesson, and ask any questions about clothing in New Plymouth that came up during her pre-site training, pick out a hat, just odds & ends, but still, requires some brain power, which seemed to be in pretty short supply with me at the time.
OK. Get Vicki started, say goodbye to Melinda, answer the phone, PHONE? WHO IS CALLING ME ON A SATURDAY?
Things started to settle down about 11:30. By noon Vicki was dressed and heading to the Carriage House for lunch, Marie and her warmer clothes were long gone, the phone had stopped, the embroiderers were happily caffeinated and snacked and back to the frames, I was sipping my third cup of coffee (if you pour it and forget about it for a half hour you can then drink it pretty fast), the rags were halfway through the wash and the kitchen floor, which gets washed pretty often but still was no worse off for having had several gallons of water sloshed across it and then wiped up.
No, strangely enough, I didn’t think to take any pictures. You’ll just have to imagine it.