Redemption of the mug thief

Melissa Hart

The storm that was only supposed to bring a tenth of an inch of ice to our area layered on nine tenths more and ripped the power from thousands of homes in southern Michigan.I could hear the limbs giving up under the weight of the ice and with every crash of a branch to the ground I prayed it wouldn’t hit the house. Dawn of the next day brought a yard littered with tree remnants and kindling wood but to my surprise the only damage was my driver’s side mirror that was ripped off without a scratch to the car. I was counting my blessings and the fact that the house was dipping into the 40s and I could see my breath was bearable at best.I was one of the lucky ones, I could still work while sitting in my car, charging my devices and warming my fingers simultaneously. It wasn’t the best of working conditions so I would charge up in the car and then go back in the house, layered in my warmest coat and a sock hat and work for a little while until I needed to charge up again. The biggest inconvenience? No coffee.I thought my clever idea of plugging the coffee maker into the AC adapter in the car would work beautifully, until it didn’t. All the surrounding towns were out of power, the roads were blocked with tree limbs and a hot cup of coffee was looking like a cold drink of water after five days in the Mojave Desert, I was desperate. I was contemplating my next move when the mug terrorist called. He wondered how we were doing and if we were safe. I told him all is well except I needed a cup of coffee.“I think I can help you out with that,” he said. It was like someone telling me I won the lottery and I couldn’t pull my ticket out fast enough, “Really? How? Tell me!”His survival training in the military taught him the importance of being prepared and the invaluable knowledge of how to make a hot cup of coffee without electricity. This is the kind of knowledge that can win wars or at least get your mom to forgive you for holding one of her favorite mugs hostage.After sifting through his survival gear, I found the piece of equipment that would save my life or at least make the power outage more comfortable, the Jetboil French press. This little wonder of ingenuity is the slickest invention ever. After you boil the water, you add the coffee and here’s where the difference maker is, it has a French press that you plunge into the steeping grounds and in no time, you have coffee that rival’s your most favorite brew. You will spit Starbucks up, toss Dunkin out and say, ‘Tim who?’ after tasting this magical cup of joe.He also offered his MRE’s in case we needed extra nourishment. I assured him we had plenty of food, but that coffee was paramount to a peaceful existence. Power was restored when the generous neighbors brought down a generator and that kept us going until the real power came on.I thought about negotiating with the French press to get my mug back, but I’ve decided he can keep that poultry prize because it does me no good without my new best friend, the Jetboil French press. The mug thief is back in the family, the coffee is on and all is well on the home front.Melissa is a farmwife, mom and freelance writer residing on a dairy farm in southern Michigan. She is available for speaking engagements by contacting her at Visit her weblog at