February 15, 2018


I wanted to write something witty and humorous today, but I spent my energy on a poem about my grandmother for the church.  I sent it to the preacher.  I'm big on those epilogues.  I tried to make it sound like one of hers, but I suck at scan and rhyming lines.  Now my brain is stuck and all of my thoughts are coming out in iambic pentameter.  This is likely to last the rest of the day.  

Like Grandma said, if you're a writer, you can't help but write.  You have to.

Pan out to seven years ago.  I was making breakfast for dinner, and when I reached up to get something sitting on the top shelf in the cabinet, standing on tip-toes because I'm short, I accidentally knocked some honey off of the shelf, which landed in the bowl of pancake batter below it, which knocked the whole kaboodle onto the floor.  It was, of course, a glass bowl, and the splattery, gloopy, shattered-shards mess that resulted was quite impressive.  It oozed off the sides of cabinets.  It covered a whole corner of the kitchen and lay an urgent hazard for bare feet and curious dogs.  And it was loud, but no one came running.

I didn't grab paper towels as first responder and get to work on cleaning it up.  Nor did I react in my usual way and go into an anxiety attack because I broke dishes and now The Whole Planet was going to condemn me for it.  Instead, I sat down at the kitchen counter on the other side of the room with my laptop, careful not to get the flecks of batter all over my pants on the stool, and promptly wrote a sonnet about it and sent it to P.J., by way of notification:

Among the many lessons learned today:
Pyrex, while strong, is not unbreakable;
The sound of crunching glass and flying shards
Throughout the house was unmistakable.
An errant honey jar, top-heavy, fell
Into the pancake batter bowl below.
The kitchen-coating mess of which I tell
Is one of majesty, if you must know;
And that is why your dinner is delayed,
Your bacon and your berry smoothies sweet,
Though even now amends are being made,
And soon you’ll hear the lad call out, “Let’s eat!”

I didn't do the last two lines.  Did I say I was Shakespeare?

I didn't exactly write it, either.  I caught it.  The lines just started forming in my head.  It was like when you know some plumbing is about to start leaking and you run and get a bucket to catch the spilling water. 

The puddle of glass-shard batter had finished spreading and decided on its expansive shape, and had begun to dry around the edges, by the time I got to it with cleaning supplies.  It was almost art.  I made the next batch of batter in a stainless steel bowl with a matching lid.  And I've learned my lesson:  When I need something off the top shelf, I use tongs now.  Much less drama that way.  P.J. wants to know what's wrong with using the god-damned step stool.  But she knows.  That's the easy way, and this is me.

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