Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Riding in alligators, among other things

Last week I used my new-to-me bread machine for the first time. I bought it at a garage sale for $10, from a lady who said she bought it several years ago and only used it a few times. I asked if it was in OK condition, and she said, "Oh yes - it works fine. I stopped using it because we gave up carbs soon after I bought it."

(How many people have invested in expensive specialty appliances only to have them end up in the appliance graveyard in the back of the cupboard or the garage or the basement?)

I've been wondering if I might like having (and would actually USE) a bread machine, and $10 is an affordable risk, so I bought it.

On Thursday I finally used it and as I pulled the freshly baked honey wheat bread out I thought about my grandma. At her memorial service my aunt and uncle read through some memories she had written down several years ago. It was so interesting to hear about her life growing up and during the early years of her marriage.

She was born in 1918, and married my grandpa in 1938. (I think... maybe it was 1937? Or 1939?) They didn't have electricity for quite a while (that came in the late '40's or early '50's, I think?) and they didn't get indoor plumbing until the late '50's.

She had to go out to the pump in the yard, get her water, then haul it into the house. (And then take the dirty water back out.) She used a wood stove to cook on, and I think she had a hole dug into the ground to keep things cool.

As I sliced through my home baked bread, I thought about the effort it would have taken for grandma to make that same loaf, versus the effort it had taken me. What a difference.

It also made me think, "what am I doing with my extra time?" We have so many devices and appliances and conveniences that cut down on the time and effort required for every day living. Where am I putting that extra time and energy?

I'll be chewing on that question for a while.

Also, here is what my sister Monica read at grandma's service. It was a very nice service, one that truly honored my grandma's life and her dedication to serving the Lord.

Kaitlyn behaved beautifully for the two-day trip. We rode out with my mom, and of course, the portable DVD player. And Princess Gigi, who I have a love/hate relationship with, but I'll save that discussion for another day.

The only bad points for Kaitlyn were sleep (she went to bed late and woke up at 4:45am) and the fact that the one time she decided to have an attitude was as we walked into the actual memorial service. Nice timing, kiddo. Thankfully, her lack of sleep caught up to her midway through the service and she took a nap.

She amazed me by staying dry for the entire two days - even overnight and during the few small naps she had. Wow.

One cute story... When we got to the hotel, my niece Alyssa met us in the lobby and helped us get Kaitlyn and all the luggage upstairs to our room. We mentioned to Kaitlyn that we were going to ride in the elevator. "Have you ever ridden in an elevator?" my mom asked her. She just looked at my mom like she wasn't sure what to think about the situation.

We stepped into the elevator and she immediately wanted to be picked up. Again, she didn't look too sure about the whole thing.

We got off and were on our way down the hall when Kaitlyn said something about the alligator. "Alligator? What alligator?" we wondered.

And then it dawned on us.

I never thought about how similar the words "elevator" and "alligator" sound.


Smith Family Blog said...

That's funny! When I was little, I thought my great-grandma has an "alligator" in her apartment building. I had forgotten all about that.

Sara Luke said...

Interesting . . . Jack has asked for the "Alligator song" for the last few weeks and we have no idea what he's talking about. But I'm not sure that "Elevator song" would help clarify things any more . . .