Pipi’s Pasture: Life’s little inconveniences
This week my computer had a nervous breakdown, and I had to take it in for a check-up. Anyway, I didn’t get to finish one column — just when my stuff is just getting settled into the new papers, too. Luckily, the mouse was a lot of the problem, and thanks to the computer specialist, I already have the computer back. The whole thing made me think about all of the things that we depend on in our lives and how helpless we feel when we’re without them.
So I thought on it awhile and came up with a partial list. For example…
• The electricity goes off. Out here at Pipi’s Pasture, as in all rural areas, that means no water for household use (no bathroom, no making coffee, no washing clothes, etc) and, worst of all, no water for the cows. The landline phones don’t work, and there’s no recharging cell phones. Our stove is electric so there’s no cooking meals. We feel helpless.
• One morning the coffeemaker decides it’s about had it. Coffee is necessary to start the day. It means instant coffee or putting the grounds in an open pot and boiling it, like my dad used to do.
• The microwave decides it isn’t going to work — right when I need to thaw hamburger that I forgot to take from the freezer that morning and need for supper.
• The tractor won’t start on at feeding time on a cold winter morning.
• The blow dryer or curling iron won’t start, no matter how many times I’ve checked the outlet. Wet, uncurled hair and work is just an hour away.
• The refrigerator is heating up or the oven isn’t and six people are coming for supper.
• The welder quits welding so there’s no way to fix the part on the stack wagon, the clouds are building, and there are lots of bales to gather from the field before the storm hits.
• A thunderstorm puts the television off, just when we’re at a crucial point in our favorite show.
• Way out on summer pasture the alternator quits in the pickup truck, and there’s no cell service to call for help.
• The lawnmower quits working when there’s still half a lawn of grass to cut.
• A loaded dishwasher refuses to start.
• The dirty, soapy water in the sink empties—slowly—into the sink of clean, drying dishes on the other side.
• The washer fills with rinse water but then decides to stop working, and all of the water has to be emptied by hand.
• The lettuce freezes in the refrigerator.
They’re little inconveniences, but they surely seem big at the time. One thing’s for sure: They make me appreciate what I’ve got.
I spent this past Saturday morning preparing for Sunday’s lunch branding — at least what I could get done early. I cooked pasta and boiled eggs. I made a gelatin salad. I decided to bake a banana cake, a family favorite, for dessert.