Improvement

You know I have had a long and tempestuous relationship with appliances, from coffee makers to microwaves. They can be temperamental, working sometimes and not others. They can give up on me completely, at the worst possible time. They can be unpredictable, working for other people, but not for me. I feel that I have gone through more appliances than should be necessary at this stage of my life, and I wonder if I am like those people whose magnetic fields mess up watches, whatever the appliance equivalent would be.

The microwave I brought from the old house did give me notice, sputtering to a halt from time and time and generally hinting that the day was not far off when it would break up with me completely. Despite my appliance-destroying track record, I remained optimistic that this would not happen, or at least that it wouldn’t happen soon.

As usual, I was wrong, and one day, it simply refused to work, sitting on the counter silently and stubbornly.

Fortunately for me, the house had come equipped with a much smaller microwave, which I had placed in the Closet of Doom under the stairs. In my uncharacteristic optimism, I thought I wouldn’t need it in the immediate future and placed it in the far reaches of the closet, out of reach. I made a path through the boxes and clambered ungracefully over the propane heater pipe that inconveniently bisects the closet, thankful that the heater wasn’t on.

I retrieved the microwave and brought it over to the kitchen, where it occurred to me that I could now rearrange things. The old microwave was too large to fit on the small counter to the left of the stove, but the smaller one did fit there. I relocated the coffee maker and its accoutrements to the right of the stove, under the cupboards, which gave me extra work space.

Here’s how it looked before:

And here’s how it looks now:

Here’s a close up of the ceramic pear on the counter. It is a set of measuring cups, and I use it quite often. Each measuring cup is a different color inside.

Next to it is a jam jar from Maine:

which is probably 50 years old and which is also a prized possession, reminding me of those long ago summers. Lately I have noticed that when I think about childhood, I think more about Maine, where I spent three or four months a year, than New York state, where I spent the rest of the year. I have been remembering those days a lot lately. Of course, I have always loved the past. It’s my favorite place.

FIVE YEARS AGO: A fun outing with the girls.

FIFTEEN YEARS AGO: Thinking about mortality.

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