“I have a great idea,” she says.
She is in the kitchen and it is in the kitchen, more than any other room that she comes up with ideas that require me to do things I do not want to do.
“Why don’t you come into the living room and tell me about it,” I say.
“Why should I do that?” she asks.
“Oh, no reason,” I tell her.
“Aren’t you going to ask me what my idea is?”
“Sure, what is your idea?”
I have to admit it, waffles is a brilliant idea. I love waffles. Who doesn’t? But making waffles requires a special appliance that, as anyone who owns one knows, is most likely to be stored in the furthest corner of the bottom-most shelf of the most inaccessible cabinet of the kitchen.
“How about oatmeal instead?”
“No,” she says, “It would be extra sweet of you to make me waffles.”
There you have it. The decision has been made: waffles it is. There is no arguing because I could never pay the price for winning that one.
So I lower myself to the floor and stick my head into the most inaccessible cabinet in the kitchen. It has been years since I have made waffles and it is no coincidence that it has been an equal number of years since I have used the muscles required to retrieve a waffle maker. They remind me of this.
The first minor appliance I encounter in the cabinet is the Vega-matic, an appliance we bought at the Minnesota State Fair from a man whose pitch we could not resist. He promised it would make us happier, healthier and wealthier. It has done none of those things – but it has make our cabinets clutterier.
Next comes a platoon of crock-pots; each a unique size, shape and brand. Predictably, the larger the pot, the further back it stands.
Beyond the crock-pots lay a region of unidentifiable appliances. Some could be toasters, some could be toaster ovens, some are still in their original boxes, some of the boxes have yet to be unsealed. Many of these appliances have not encountered a human in years, it makes them skittish and unruly.
And finally, waaay in the back of the back, my fingertips located the waffle maker. At least I think it is. It is small and round and plated in chrome. What else could it be?
I hope it is not the meat slicer.
I nudge it a bit to get a better grip. Of course it resists me. So I push harder, only to discover that it is indeed the meat slicer.
Behind that is another small, round, chrome-plated appliance. Fortunately, this one can be identified by two raised Teflon grids instead of a circular knife– so at last I have found it. I grab and pull – but it refuses to budge. Perhaps the cord is wrapped around something. I pull again and it pulls back.
This is when I realize my hand is a whole lot further back in the cabinet than our kitchen goes. I have experienced this mystery in other places in our house – and it does not end well. They air movies about such things on the Syfy Channel.
I crawl quickly back out of the cabinet. If the little guy wants to be left in peace, I am willing to oblige it.
“So what made you think about waffles?” I ask.
She is looking out the kitchen window at the frost shrouded trees along the banks of Five Drunk Creek. “Nothing really,” she says.
It is then I realize what she was thinking – because of her new job, we will not be going south this year – and every year on our journey south, we know we have escaped the cold clutches of the north when we spot our first WAFFLE HOUSE restaurant and it has become a tradition to stop.
“I have a great idea,” I tell her.
“What?” she asks.
“How about tomorrow morning, we order pecan waffles from a waitress who calls you Honey?”
“Are we going to Kansas City?” she asks.
“You bet,” I say, “we can be back by Sunday night.”