Sunday, July 27, 2008

What happens when you lose internet access

Before my morning cuppa, I always flip on the downstairs computer. It’s as natural as breathing. Until this morning, when all I could see is the “Problem loading page” page. WHAT?? No internet? How will I blow off my morning doing all the fun things that make me feel guilty because I know I should be doing something else? Like finishing my damn book.

I considered doing just that – working on my book. After all, this is my official writing day. Instead, I cleaned out the kitchen drawers that haven’t been touched since the Reagan era. Oh the treasures, and muck, I found. Some I kept, after a serious date with a sponge, hot water, and soap. Others I tossed.

I found the tiny coffee grinder that my best friend gave us a thousand years ago. No, we don’t drink coffee, but I used it when we entertained. I loved to pull it out and offer our guests their choice of beans. I loved the the smell of freshly ground coffee. It made me feel so yuppie and cool. I don’t know why I’m keeping it since we rarely entertain anymore, and the friend is a sad, long lost memory. Maybe I think this little coffee grinder will recapture the fun times we shared all those years ago and trigger something within my friend that it really is okay to still love me in spite that I’m not a born again Christian.

I found the two heart-shaped ceramic cupcake pans that we received at my in-laws’ Christmas drawing. I never used the cupcake pans because I don’t bake. Hell, I barely cook. They were adorable, and had I been a domestic goddess, I imagined these would have gotten some serious use. As it is, they became heart-shaped tombs for bugs that managed to find their way into our home – something that still grosses me out. Peering in at the tiny exoskeletons, I thought how fitting it all was. The cupcake pans represented a painful memory of just how life can take a heartbreaking U-turn. Oh, the irony. I’m tossing the pans, just as we were tossed out of their lives.

I had to scrunch into contortions I didn’t know my body could still accomplish without heavy drugs or plenty of tequila in order to drag out a hand-painted heart-shaped bowl. It looked familiar. Turning it over, it bore the signature of my daughter at the age of 11. She must have painted this with me back when I thought I had the DNA to paint ceramics. I don’t. I ran my fingers along the sponge-painted edges and smiled at how the past ten years flew by since she last touched the bowl. She was just a sixth grader back then. Now she’s flying off to London for a year to study sports medicine and then finish up at GW University. My baby may be flying the coup, but I’m able to keep a part of her and her simpler times near me.

There were the usual inexpensive gadgets and doohickeys the kids bought us over the years, probably bought with the intent of yanking my culinary heartstrings. I never had the guts to tell my precious kids that I don’t own any culinary heartstrings, and I will never care that I can slice, dice, mince, and chop ‘til the veggies come home. After all, if they didn’t get a clue after I exploded a pan of hardboiled eggs on the ceiling, they never would. Bless their golden hearts.

One drawer was filled with matching towels and hot pads – all gifts from Mom and Dad. There no less than seven Christmas patterns, all of them still in their original packaging, and a set from New Zealand, and another from Hawaii. Mom never knows what to get us when they travel, and she’s the type who never comes home empty handed. As I watch my sweet parents enter their twilight years, I wonder how many years they have left to do their beloved traveling. I held the towels close to my heart and let the tears flow as I thought about there ever being a time when I’ll no longer receive kitchen towels and matching hot pads.

I never anticipated walking down memory lane, opening up so many emotions and memories. After all, I do this when looking at old pictures, not climbing through huge cabinets. It was a reflective way to spend the morning, and I’m almost glad the internet was down.


*Reiki hugs=15

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