And in the midst of a Pandemic, my Espresso Machine Breaks

But it was so much more than just a coffee pot. So much more than just an espresso machine.

Coffee is everything to me. Actually, make that an espresso. A small shot of caffeine with beautiful creme floating on top or add water to make it more brewed-coffee like.

One cup is all I need.

It’s strange that I have become that mom, lady, woman that requires coffee for her day to go, at the very least, average. I can’t pinpoint the moment this became a thing. Maybe in my 20s, but since then, my whole family knows: my kids, my in-laws, my sibling, my parents.

It’s better to give me a superficial “Good morning”, until I get that cup and finish it.

I am not one that let’s it get cold. (I have heard that moms invented cold coffee!). Oh no, that is not me. I will drink that coffee in less than 5 minutes. Usually while standing. Summer or Winter.

Did I mention, it’s all I need.

Finding the Perfect Espresso Machine

When I had my second child, I was home bound. He required a lot. I was new to the area. With a two year old and a baby so I did very very little exploring. All this to say there was very little that made my day. One morning, I was online browsing on a deal and steals type of blog and it mentioned that a local store was having a great deal on espresso machines.

I told my husband I wanted one especially if it’s on sale and he knew better than to protest. So off to the store I went, alone, and on the counter a beautiful shiny machine gleaned and called to me. It was The Delonghi Perfecta ESAM5400. It brought back memories of fancy coffee shops and bantering baristas. It brought dreams of future sips from heaven (albeit in my kitchen).

photo of front of espresso machine

It had a frother, grinder, made espresso and coffee, and had multiple setting for coffee strength. It was the perfect espresso machine.

I mean I felt like that kid Ralphie in A Christmas Story when he is gawking at the Red Ryder BB gun!

Wide eyed, I asked what the price was. The cashier confirmed IT WAS ON SALE, 75 percent off!!

Sold. I bought it.

I carried the box holding the big shiny machine to my car. It was the best day of my life (ok ok, other than marriage and the birth of my children). The year was 2011.

The Year of the Ass

Fast forward. It is 2020. The Chinese year of what? I don’t know. But probably an ass. Ahem. I mean donkey. With everything else going on, what should happen? Yes. You guessed it. My poor espresso machine sputtered it’s last shot of espresso. And I about died along side it.

I banged every possible part of my beloved espresso machine. Peered into it, looked at everything. Nothing was obvious. My husband tried to replace a part, pull it apart, look things up. But it had been discontinued and it’s hard to replace parts. It was not gonna happen. And just like that it was an end of an era.

The End of an Era

I used that machine every day, sometimes twice a day. My kids knew to turn it on if I was not yet awake. It was in some ways my alarm. “Time to get up mama” it would whisper to me as I crawled out of bed. Along with great coffee, I realized it created memories. Scenes of every day life happening in front of me with that cup and my machine.

photo of broken espresso machine

I know, I know. In a world of chaos this is so unremarkable. But the thing is, it was part of my routine and something I looked forward to. My world has gotten small again, similar to when I had a newborn and a toddler. I cannot control much but I could have that cup of coffee and start these strange days awake and OK.

Over the Christmas holidays I got a small Nespresso machine. Maybe I knew in the back of my head, this day might come. It doesn’t make it any better that I was prepared. I will report that I still get my cup of coffee with the new machine. But, it’s not the same.

That is what life feels like right now. The routine that was once your life is no longer. Yet, life goes on. But let’s face it, it’s not the same.

Mona Gupta Reddy

Mona Gupta Reddy is a lawyer by profession and a mother in practice. She knows no stranger, and it has helped her navigate her life from Michigan to Mississippi. When she is not being a wife and mother to her two boys, she also judges high school debate and theater competitions as well as serve as board member for the Mississippi Opera and Center Players Community Theater. Magnolia Moms is her most recent hat and she wears it proudly.

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