Recommended Maintenance – Part 1

18 Jun, 2011

This week I encountered several speed bumps in my daily routine. Four of my household tools for work, fun and survival needed repair. Here is a bit of my journey and what I have learned upon some reflection.

Espresso maker

If you’ve visited my home you know that one of the first expressions of hospitality is an offer of a fresh cup of coffee—it never is a bother to make. When we moved into our home we purchased an automated espresso machine with a professional burr grinder and enough steam pressure to pour consistent, quality shots. Making an Americano (a shot of delicious espresso with just enough hot water to make it similar to a cup of drip coffee) is as easy as pushing a couple of buttons. It is always hot and always made to order.

Maintaining our machine means regularly cleaning the water reservoir and the grounds dumpster. Every other month I run a descaler through the machine to deal with the buildup caused from our hard water. But there is some maintenance that I leave to the professionals. Thankfully Saeco’s only service center in Idaho is just a couple of miles from our home. I take our machine to one of their skilled technicians to check for leaks, change the o-rings, recalibrate the grinder, and do a thorough internal cleaning.

After 15,000 shots of espresso, my machine needed its second service visit. It was a week of nervous twitches from my family and friends who have come to rely on our Saeco for their caffeine fix. Thankfully we have other methods of brewing coffee in our home so we did not suffer too greatly.

I realize that in our culture I get used to creature comforts and take some things for granted. Seeing the void on my coffee counter this last week made me remember how much I appreciate the consistency our machine provides. Usually I just push the button with expectation of being served. It wasn’t until the Saeco wasn’t around that I remembered I should be thankful for it. It makes me wonder what other benefits in this life I’ve become so accustomed to that I’ve forgotten to be grateful for.

  • I’m grateful for this house that is keeping me dry from today’s showers.
  • I’m grateful for my ‘85 Toyota pickup that still runs.
  • I’m grateful for my wife who always keeps a stack of toilet paper in the bathroom cupboard.
  • I’m grateful for the lights always come on when I flip the switch.
  • I’m grateful for hot showers.
  • I’m grateful for clean water.
  • I’m grateful for weekends.

And I’m grateful that there are some people out there that care enough about me, or find enough interest in what I write that you are following along with me on this journey. Thank you!

What would you really miss in your daily routine if it went missing? What have your grown so accustomed to that you may have forgotten to be grateful for?


Pinging is currently not allowed3 Responses

  1. What would I miss in my daily routine if it went missing?
    my ipod
    my sbux (i don't brew at home)

    I have grown accustomed to:
    My back yard to play in with my boys: Very grateful
    My AC which is amazing this time of year in NOLA: Very grateful

  2. Chelsea says:

    Dear Chad,
    I'm one of your (mostly silent) readers, but I wanted to respond to this post on gratefulness. :)Last year I was finding that I was complaining and unhappy a lot of the time. Besides dealing with ongoing depression, my husband was heading into his second tax season at an accounting firm, and I had been dreading it for months. Literally. Sometime around July, I started thinking, "Oh no! It's coming again!" Right before tax season started, I had the idea (was inspired?) to start a gratitude journal. I made a habit of writing every night–sometimes by light of cell phone at the foot of our bed if my hubby was already sleeping). Over the course of a few months, there was a marked difference in my interactions with God and other people. I started noticing… everything! The sun on the pavement, the breeze blowing through my car which lacks AC, a free pair of shoes from a friend, blueberries, a smile from a stranger, an interaction with my neighbor and a chance to pray together, kissing my husband when he got home from work, a kind word to share or receive.

    Starting from nothing, gratitude (at least for me) is a hard practice. It is difficult tilling the ground of my soul, which gets hardened with selfishness and entitlement. But God is faithful–when I make a practice of it (by grace), He generously waters the seeds and they begin to grow into something that gives off an attractive fragrance. I begin to see God everywhere.

    Thanks for all your writing.

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