It started with grabbing the cheery red tea kettle off of the right front burner on the stove. That’s it’s home, it’s place, and it gets a lot of use.
Boiling water to make the coffee caused a major problem – A Watched Pot Never Boils. While the water boils, it gives me time to do what I usually do when I’m not actively baking, clean the place. Remembering that the dishwasher was full and clean, it was time to empty the thing.
By the time the red kettle screamed for attention, the bottom rack of dishes were placed lovingly in the cupboard, and the silverware caddy was on the counter waiting to be emptied.
Pouring out 2 cups plus one ounce for the grounds, the coffee was started along with 4 minutes and 30 on the timer. One vigorous stir, and the coffee was on its way. So was emptying the top rack of the dishwasher.
After a few more stirs, the coffee was brewed and all was right in the kitchen world. The silverware had to be put away still but there was a later cup of coffee to be brewed and that would be in an hour. Meantime there were emails to write, web pages to visit, and other online work to do.
When it was time, the heat was turned on under the red kettle, and the next mug of coffee was prepared. While that happened the bright idea of emptying the silverware tray into the two drawers came to me. You see that is the problem. When we moved from that house in Philadelphia, we crammed two adults, a dog, a parrot and 1900 square feet of boxes, possessions, and treasures into an Old Florida 1200 square foot home, a 200 square foot Lanai, and a 100 square foot garden shed.
If you’re from South Jersey you may remember the old slang term “Blivit”. It’s appropriate. See the lead definition. You see we’re still emptying boxes from the move in 2006 and the little kitchen is about a quarter of the size of the one we had up North.
When I reached into that silverware drawer I was stopped. There simply was no more room for knives. The last time we were gifted with some steaks from an online steak place, they sent us a complete set of steak knives, un-serrated. They joined the serrated sets plus two sets of stainless silverware plus the other backup sets that we had been given.
The tea kettle whistled that it had reached its boiling point and so had I.
I went into the laundry room and grabbed a large container that previously contained biscotti, crackers, and now was empty and began to store the “extra” knives in the container. It was big, it looked like a barrel and I couldn’t bear to throw the thing out because the plastic screw top lid was in perfect condition.
The barrel was now the new home of some rather nasty looking carving knives.
That did make a dent in it, so I went back into the laundry for a 1/2 gallon drink container and loaded up the shorter steak knives into that and set it on the counter. We’ll use those and place them back in the drawer once they’ve been run through the dishwasher. No sense in keeping 40 implements of terror inside of that little drawer.
Making the final stir to the mug of coffee I brought the barrel of knives into the Laundry that is rapidly becoming the Repository Of Extra Things Not To Throw Out and set it on a box on the washer.
That was when it happened.
Unscrewing the lid that last long knife was slid in point first with the rest. Being big and clumsy, which aren’t necessarily the same thing, I managed to drop the blue lid behind the dryer.
Swearing out an oath to Zeus, Dow Chemicals, and the Japanese that made these fine surplus cutting implements I pulled the dryer forward.
Funny how entropy and inertia work together. The inertia of placing junk on the dryer from the front pushed the older junk back toward the wall and down into the Black Hole of Dryer Land. The entropy of the situation caused all of that junk to fall into which ever inaccessible cracks that were most difficult to get at in that tiny space.
In other words, Brother Can You Spare a Reach?
Balancing on top of the leaning tower of junk that sits next to the dryer, it was possible to extract:
- 1 Electric Screwdriver
- 3 “Dog Bags”
- 1 Blinky Light
- 1 Box of Terro Ant Bait (I needed that!)
- 2 Dog Bandannas
- and the escaping lid.
This also caused another oath, this time to the Roman God Janus since the vent to the dryer had popped free of the mount on the dryer which would cause all that hot humid air to be vented directly into the laundry. As everyone knows, that is Exactly What You Need In Florida: More Hot Humid Air!
Remembering that had to be put right, I managed to put my bulk on top of the leaning tower of junk and realized that there was no way I was going to get all 6’4″ and 224 pounds of me between that little space and guide the dryer to dock with the vent pipe.
I wasn’t NASA and this wasn’t the Space Shuttle.
The high road was taken. I began to unwind myself from this cramped spot when Entropy came up from behind and gave me a goose that caused the parrot in the next room to squawk. You see, my faithful sidekick, Lettie, my Mc Nab Dog had decided that she’d nose the back of my leg. This was the one that I was actually standing on, with the other leg being used as a counterweight. 224 Pounds of North American Male sometimes needs to balance.
The sweet thing didn’t know what she had done.
She unleashed the Pandora’s Box of the Laundry Room.
- The Cold Wet Nose of my faithful best friend hit right true behind the knee.
- The knee buckled from the unaccustomed cold.
- My bulk came crashing down on top of the tower of junk.
- The left shoulder nudged the big plastic bowl that keeps the dog walk gear tidy.
- The dog walk bowl pushed two shoe boxes full of collected computer parts forward…
Onto the floor it went.
On the journey since one thing never goes alone came two large towels, a ceramic plant pot full of old-but-useable batteries, a laundry soap measuring cup, and of course that big barrel of knives.
The dog had run out of the laundry room into the dining room out of harm’s way thinking she had done all of this, and I was now suspended just above the floor on my side trying to decide whether to laugh or yell.
Opting for neither, I took the high road. You see the trash truck was revving its big diesel engine to pick up the Tuesday Trash and the big blue bin was not out by the swale. I extracted myself and went on my way.
Later the emergency was cleared by picking up the majority of the mess and leaving the dryer in place. I’ll get help with that later. By help I mean “Standing in the Kitchen Watching Someone Else Repair The Damage I Had Done”.
That blasted little room hates me!