All Stoved Up

The New Year begins, and still the promised everlasting snow has not yet fallen.  High grey clouds cover the heavens and bring the smell of rain, not snow.  The biting cold turns the landscape into a dangerous windswept ice sculpture.  Even the remaining snow develops a crust of ice whipped with air and disintegrates under foot with loud crunches. 

The concrete walls and floors of the house have begun to warm, and it is no longer necessary to run the heaters 24/7 at high-speed.  Maybe it was just the imagination that things seem warmer.  Most likely the hooded fleece-lined warm up jacket just insulates better than thin wool sweaters. 

Now the sedentary lifestyle sets in — oh! that aching back is all stoved up.  Might as well be sitting in the general store at Cloudcroft in front of the pot-bellied stove, catching up on the gossip, playing checkers, and hoping the cracker barrel never empties.  Oh for simpler times.  Well, maybe not!

Uh oh!  Brain fhart down a bunny trail.  Sorry. . .

Ah, yet another issue comes forward and presents itself — part-time playwright in tow.

Enter stage left the 35 year-old NoName gas stove, which the portentous playwright has doomed to a merciful end.  The stove sits quietly unaware of its forlorn future.  Someone jokingly suggested it be donated to the local museum.  When the oven and gas burners are fired up, the knobs and oven door handle will blister any naïve, trusting cook’s hands.  Great care must always be taken to have heavy-duty potholders within reach.  If one’s grip is lax, the defiant door flies shut with a clack and an ear shattering bang, sending anyone at home running to see who the sullen beast injured. 

Dealing with this obstinate antique can quickly become a comedy of errors, and cooking in this kitchen is an ordeal.  The oven no longer regulates the temperature, and turns a cake baking event into a frustrating, invective guessing game.  Only a chef with nerves of steel and great determination need enter.  Beware thou hungry fool of a knave, for on yon wall rests one mean, ornery, cantankerous blasted piece of Klump!

The heavy stage curtains rise and there before the eyes is one big electronics store where the bright and beautiful new Bosch stainless steel built-in induction cook top and convection oven sit waiting for someone to desire them. 

Enter two very frustrated people.  One male.  One female.  Obviously a married couple.  Fast on their heels is the big, burly surly salesman.  In no time, the deal is struck, and the electrician summoned. 

Herr Zingerman, the electrician of course, determines that bringing in the 380 volts would require both a city permit and building code guidelines.  These two governing bodies will also decide if the 50 year-old electrical box and screwed in fuses, which have not been changed in thirty years will be adequate.   Ah, clever Germans and their engineering feats!  Once these facts check out and the appropriate fees are paid, the documents are issued.  Now begins the messy and expensive part.

Comes now Herr Zingerman tools in hand.  The boxes, if necessary, are replaced, and the preparations to hook it all together will begin.  The concrete floor in the kitchen is bored and prepped for the new lines, to be pulled and connected with Herr Zingerman’s professional aplomb.  All that work and equipment will cost as much as the cook top and oven combined.  Herr Zingerman had better work with lots of aplomb!

And thank the lucky stars that only steel bottoms will touch the new cook top.  The prehistoric pots and pans with their hot metal handles, bowed bottoms, and crusty outside finishes are doomed  to the recycling bins.  In their place will come new stainless steel pots, pans, a tea kettle, iron skillet, and yes a stainless steel espresso pot.  Yippi Skippi!!!

All said and done, the job will take two weeks.

This is hardly a prayer and fasting ordeal, but certainly a challenge in all respects to stamina and patience.  Tempers will certainly fly, and hopefully verbal sparring will be jovial and at a minimum. 

We shall see.

 Joe 2:25  I will restore to you the years which the swarming locust has eaten, the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter, my great army, which I sent among you.  26  “You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. And my people shall never again be put to shame.  27  You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I, the LORD, am your God and there is none else. And my people shall never again be put to shame.  28  “And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions.  29  Even upon the menservants and maidservants in those days, I will pour out my spirit.  30  “And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke.  31  The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and terrible day of the LORD comes.  32  And it shall come to pass that all who call upon the name of the LORD shall be delivered; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the LORD has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the LORD calls.

More about what Joel really meant by swarming locust. . .  What is your guess?

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