Technical Difficulties

You may have been wondering why I stopped posting to the blog in December. I can tell you it is not from lack of passion. I have been researching, interviewing, and taste-testing like a mad woman. If you still doubt my passion, read this story. Would you have given up or turned back?


A friend of mine thought I should meet Chuck, a homebrewer of 25 years. After a few email exchanges, Chuck and I scheduled a late morning visit at his home and brewing area one Saturday in early December. I was to be there at 11 a.m.

Now, if you know me, you know I’m not exactly punctual. So I tried my best to get out the door with enough time to travel. In my haste I locked myself out of the apartment without my keys. Seriously?!? My set of spare keys was about 12 miles away and jumping though second story apartment windows wasn’t really an option. In that moment, all I could do was laugh. I was going to be late after all.

Good fortune greeted me with a memory of the extendable ladder left behind by the property owner. This would be quicker than calling my mother in from out of town. After I determined which windows were mine, I then chose the window that would be the easiest to crawl through, was unlocked, and had the most disposable screen. I thanked my lucky stars for arranging this challenge at a time when no neighbors were home and prayed that the extendable ladder wouldn’t pull a Chevy Chase on me:

Click on the photo for animation. Click your browser back button to come back to the blog.

Click on the photo for animation. Click your browser back button to come back to the blog.

Luckily, the ladder did not collapse. When I reached the window, I cut the screen with a pen, lifted the window open, pushed my curious cat, Hope, inside, and crawled through in a manner similar to Playdoh, but with souvenir bruises.


I found my keys in the bathroom. What the hell were they doing there?

I got in the car and started driving to Chuck’s. On the way, I called him to tell him I was running late. But it went to voice mail. Why didn’t he answer? I started freaking out thinking I confused the meeting time or day. Had I seriously just broken into my apartment for no reason? But something in me decided to press on confidently.

When I drove into town, my cell rang. It was Chuck. He forgot his cell at the airport and hadn’t gotten my message. (Yes, this dude has a pilot’s license.) While apologizing for my tardiness, I explained the reason for it as well. It felt like telling a new teacher that a dog ate my homework. Luckily, Chuck didn’t seem miffed in the least. Before we hung up I told him I’d be there in about two minutes.

Pulling into the driveway my confidence collapsed as it appeared I had made a serious mistake: I was at a funeral home. I thought, “This can’t be it. But this is the address he gave me.” I decided to knock on the door because I figured I’d met my quota for technical difficulties that day. But maybe not. Maybe I shouldn’t have left the house that day.

A man greeted me. “Chuck?”


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