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Monday, May 2, 2016

Concentrating can be a bad thing

Friday, October 5, 2012

My theory is that we should never go to bed until we have learned something new that day. Trying to learn everything about my new computer during these past weeks, I feel I have put enough into my knowledge bank to neglect that for a while.

Beginning with the first day I got the laptop, my powers of concentration went into overdrive. One day I was so engrossed in learning all the new prompts that I worked right through lunchtime. It was about 2 o'clock in the afternoon when I took a break and went to the kitchen to find something to eat. I thought a couple of hard boiled eggs would satisfy my hunger. I could make those without looking for a recipe.

I put six eggs into cold water with a teaspoon of baking soda (so they peel easily), put the pot on the stove and turned on the heat. I set the stove timer for five minutes. They would begin boiling in that time and I could turn off the heat, cover the pot and wait another fifteen minutes before eating a couple of them.

I went back to the computer for the five minute wait. Unfortunately, my drop back into that zone where I am deaf and dumb to everything around me was almost immediate. My husband claims the only way he can be sure he has my attention when I get into that state is by phoning me. I do hear the telephone but the dinging of the stove timer is a different story. I vaguely remember hearing some strange popping noises coming from the kitchen. That is when I learned that after being cooked at a hard boil for about twenty minutes, eggs explode - and stink.

Recently my sisters traveled with me to Wichita to spend a few days with my daughter and her family. I had left my computer at home as it was the reason I needed a few days off. I wanted to forget I owned one for the time being but I also knew my inbox would be filling up while I was gone.

I fell right into a flurry of activities when I got home. One hour after I returned I was at the VFW hall helping a friend set up for our monthly pinochle party. It was a day and a half later before I had time to unpack my luggage. Then I had to face the inevitable and check and respond to my emails. I also wanted to bake a pie that afternoon. I was still in my office when my husband called me for supper and the pie was not made. I didn't want to tell him I had to make one because he would have done it for me and skipped watching the St. Louis Cardinals' ball game that night. He had been home alone for almost a week and asking him to do that would have been unfair.

When supper was over he went to the basement to watch the televised baseball game while I spent a little time in the kitchen. I bravely set to work on the pie. I had every ingredient I needed and in no time it was ready to go into the preheated oven. Satisfied that I was well on the way to having successfully completed the task, I set the stove timer for forty-five minutes and headed back to my computer.

Forty minutes later my grandson was dropped off at our house to hang around until time for his football practice. His mother had no sooner driven away when he remembered his mouth guard was still in the car. He couldn't go to practice without it. We tried phoning but his mother doesn't answer the phone while driving. She was taking her daughters to gymnastics practice in a neighboring town. He was as heartbroken as an eleven year old can be when he might miss an important practice. He got into my car and we went to get the all-important mouth guard. We were fifteen minutes away from home when I remembered my pie in the oven. I did not have my cell phone along. When we got to the gymnastics studio I borrowed a cell phone to call home. The pie had already been in the oven twenty minutes too long and I knew the stove timer couldn't be heard if my husband was still in the basement watching the game.

The result was a very, very brown pecan pie.The exposed crust looked like it was caramelized. We cut a sample piece and, although it didn't look wonderful, it didn't taste burned. I took it to the luncheon the next day anyway. If my friends know I am doing the baking, it is no surprise when I show up with a less than perfect product.

I can't say there were new lessons learned in that experience. How many times do I have to be reminded to take my cell phone along when leaving home, to stay near the stove while baking and to concentrate on the job at hand? But then, I had that backlog of computer lessons learned so I fell into bed that night satisfied my theory remained intact.

By Mary S. Roder
Musing With Mary

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