Mary Ellen is not a risk taker. Other than her commitment to me more than 30 years ago, she seldom gambles with the odds. But a business obligation in Chicago has required that she leave me to fend for myself. She has left me alone at home before, but my son was still living with us so she knew if we had a power outage, someone in the house would know how to put batteries in the flashlight.
In the past, I always got very detailed instructions for how to muddle through the day when she was gone. It was even alphabetical.
B: (Bedtime) You both need to do this toward the end of each day. Do not skip a night.
D: (Dishes) Wash after each meal in the dishwasher. Do not mix dishes and underwear in same load.
M: (Meals) To be eaten while seated — not in the car, and not standing at the sink. Space them out over the day.
V: (Vacuum Cleaner) About three feet tall, with a hose coming out the side. I don’t expect you to use it, but I didn’t want it to scare you if you opened the closet by mistake.
This time, Mary Ellen simply abandoned me. I was okay last night, stopping at a sub shop for some dinner. However, this morning when I walked into the kitchen to make breakfast, I realized what a bad personal relationship I have with our appliances.
My wife sets the toaster to light, so it’s already popping up while she’s putting the rest of the loaf back in the pantry. I like my toast very dark. I know it’s done when the smoke detector goes off. Then I get up on a kitchen chair so I can fan the alarm and make it stop. It’s hard to tell your doctor you hurt your back making toast.
There are no dials on our microwave. It’s just this high-tech control surface that makes me feel like Data on Star Trek determining if Planet RaNon 17 has sufficient oxygen for Captain Kirk and the crew. I don’t know how to change the power level; I don’t know how to set the timer; and I have no idea what DELAY means. The device does tell me the current time. It’s the biggest and most expensive clock we’ve ever had.
Given the opportunity, I’d swap the stove for a decent pool table. Our old stove had these coils that heated up, which was a pretty good indication that things were about to start cooking. But now the stove is called a glass-top and it is completely flat. Little circle thingies light up, then they go off, then they come back on. Whose stupid idea was this? When I was a kid, we had a gas stove, like with a real flame. My dad used to light his cigarette by leaning over the range and igniting his butt. That doesn’t sound exactly right, but it made me laugh when I wrote it.
The toaster oven has been a big disappointment (rivaled only by the dehumidifier in our basement, which we never thought worked until we found out I had purchased a humidifier by mistake). I tried to make a tuna melt in it. The cheddar never melted, although it did age very nicely.
Oops, gotta go. The smoke alarm just went off. Breakfast is ready.
Shades of gray and blue
I spent last week gallivanting around Tennessee and North Carolina with my young’uns. I am a full-blooded Hoosier, but I spent a good portion of my growing up years down South.
Retiring minds want to know
My wife was confident that her retirement would be an easy transition to make. One day she would be hard at work at the office; then suddenly, she wouldn’t be.
Would you rather...
Having a 5-year-old boy, I am reminded of how much kids like gross stuff. I don’t know what it is about bodily functions, and disgusting activities that appeals to the younger set. Right now, we are in that stage where little brother picks his nose and then chases sister around with “booger hands.” Hearing her scream, you’d think he was lunging at her with an ax, but apparently booger germs are worse.
This is a humor column about a serious medical concern. Everything turned out fine, but this is my one chance to write funny stuff about my own lung biopsy. I hope.
Only a daddy would ...
In my uncle’s office there hangs a framed cross-stitch that reads, “Anybody can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Daddy.”
But for the grace of sod
I’m a competitive person. For example, I obsess about how my lawn looks in comparison to others on my block. I noticed some bare spots recently, so I addressed the issue with a trip to a local nursery.
New table leads to old tradition
A dinner table surrounded by family and friends has been a symbol of American life since the first Thanksgiving. Sitting down each evening and discussing the day’s events over a hearty pot roast is a tradition that continues in many homes today.
An icy relationship
According to the Associated Press, the biggest issue men have when hooking up with women in Iceland is not that the ladies are frigid. The men can be a little frosty themselves — but temperature is relative. The problem is
Is that all?
“Are you people actually arguing over a doughnut?” my teenage daughter inquired from the backseat.
They’ve got my number
For the longest time, I had a label on my cellphone displaying the mobile number so if I lost the device the person who found it could call me. I realized how incredibly dumb this was when I left it at Ace Hardware one day and when I finally went back and found it, I had 24 messages from people who wanted me to know that it was “right here” in Lawn and Garden by the azaleas.
- Shades of gray and blue