The Suitcase Lady


July 15, 2014, 10:01 pm

“Anything I need to know?” I asked my husband as he finished the newspaper. I knew I wasn’t going to get to it, and he is a good editor.

“Oh, yes,” he said, “there’s a wonderful piece of news.”

My mind raced to people getting along somewhere in the world or President Obama getting a break from the racists that besiege him.

“The International Space Station is getting a new astronaut in January, a woman from Italy.”

Now my brain immediately thought of Sophia Loren. My husband has a thing for that gorgeous woman. But since she is older than me and not a pilot or scientist, I couldn’t imagine she was the reason for his excitement about the news item.

“Guess what the astronaut is bringing with her?” he asked. I couldn’t think of any obvious thing.

“A cat?” I tried.

“No,” he said.

I tried again. “All of Sophia Loren’s movies?”

“No, the astronaut is Italian, so, of course, she is bringing an espresso machine.”

I should have been able to figure that out. My husband is also my very own personal barista and I’m the recipient of great coffee drinks every day. When things would get difficult with his computer programming job, he would come home and say that perhaps he wanted to be an espresso machine repairman. Good coffee looms large in his life.

Apparently the disgusting instant coffee on the space station has been loathed by astronauts of all nationalities, especially the Italians. So the venerable Italian coffee company, Lavazza, teamed up with an engineering firm to create a designed-for-space espresso machine. Their creation is called ISSpresso, ISS standing for International Space Station.

I must agree with my guy that this is an upbeat news item. Good coffee, good friends and other simple pleasures are always good news whether you’re at the space station or on terra firma.


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