“Write about a tool which you don’t know much about and have no emotional attachemet to.” That is the assignment.

But, I don’t have things that I have no emotional attachment to.

My truck? It takes me places and hauls things I need to move. I have an attachment to that. Without my truck, I would be stuck. Literally!! I would have no way to get food. It’s a five mile walk into town. I’ve done it, takes a couple hours, I was exhausted (I know I’m out of shape), but I couldn’t bring much groceries home.

My home? Am I attached to it? I like the floorplan. I like its location where I don’t have other houses close to have to look at. There are houses, and thay are closer than I would perfer, but the distance is managebale.

This laptop? Now that’s a complicated ralationship. When it does what little I want done, I am happy. When it decides to do something else (and I can never anticipate that), I am not happy. Whoever designed it put in all kinds of bells and whistles I don’t need or want. When the machine starts to run of with one of those, I am NOT happy! I cannot say this is not an emotional relationship.

The lamp beside me? I need it to see what I’m reading or writing when the sun passes beyon my window and the room becomes darker. And, especially at night.

The pans I cook with are also tools. I have no attachment to them. Pans have come into and gone out of my life without any excitement or remorse. They merely exist to be used. And, now that microwave ovens exist, and I use one, I seldom need to use my pans any more. I have used pans for too many years, to cook too much stuff that I had no choice about, there is no emotional attachment.

My first conscious memory of using a pan recently surfaced. It had been buried for more than sixty-five years I’m sure. It was the first time I had to stir something in a pan. It was some kind of sauce. My mother was cooking and she left the room and demanded that I stir whatever it was. I objected that I didn’t know how to stir. Just move the spoon one way then the other way, was her instruction. I was terrified. I had never been so close to fire before.

I knew fire. My father had burned piles of brush to clear the land and he had cooked hotdogs over the flames. The flames were bright and warm, but they danced about randomly and I’d been told to stay back. Now, I had to be less than inches from the flames. I did not know they would not jump to burn my arm and hand the way flames outside would jump.

But, this was not the first time I had no choice to do what my mother demaned. That had started when I was two and a half and she had insisted I give my baby sister her bottle, the big, heavy glass ones, and don’t let her such air! That was an offense for which I would be yelled at. Such jobs never ended.

Now, I had to reach up, above my head, past the flames and stir something I could not see. The image of the flames above my eyes is that image that returned suddenly not long ago. It was a dangerous job. “Be careful!” She had demanded.

Apparently I was not only careful (I didn’t get burned) but successful. When she returned, she was satisfied that the contents had not burned or scorched. I was too short to see what I had stirred and the meal was unremarkable to me at the time. I don’t know if I was three, or four, or five, but somewhere in that age range. As soon as I could reach across the burners to the back of the stove, where the knobs were, she demande that I begin cooking. That was dangerous too. I had to reach my hand directly across the burner and jump away before the flames came out. Turning off the burner was much more difficult. None of that mattered.

As a result, and her constatn screaming while I did her cooking, I do not enjoy cooking, or the pans, or any time spent in the kitchen. Washing dishes was a similaryly unpleasent experience. As was eating. And, everything else I had to do in that house.

Other than gas going in and flames coming out, I don’t know how a stove works – and I don’t want to know!

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