Great Expectations

Post #436

There were almost 40 of us, just standing around talking.  There were kids, parents and older people mostly without kids.  We’d had an enjoyable week.  The weather had been good, there was only one day of rain and a little thunder to go with it that drove us off the lake and into town.

The gathering only happened once a year.  It was the annual reunion of friends from Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, sprinkled with a few semi-locals from Minnesota. We had been vacationing on Leech Lake for years.  We shared the battle stories of the ones that slipped away and smiled over the big ones landed.

The kids are all complaining that they’re starved,! “When’s the food coming?”

I walk through the lodge, into the kitchen where everyone was brought their “covered” dishes for the cooperative carry-in meal.  Out back is the fryer, George, Ed, Fred and Bill are standing around, each having a task in the cooking of the beer-battered fish.  George brings the fryer up every year for this all fishing-resort event.  Always, scheduled on the Thursday of vacation week.

The resort is no longer there, a victim if progress.

The fish fries are just a memory to those that once were there.

At 81, George was the last, he passed the other day.

It’s my expectation that he, Ed, Fred and Bill are reunited.

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Get It Right the First Time

Post #435

Later in my dad’s life I began learning things from him, maybe that’s when I began listening.  One learning experience was making trips to the hardware store.  The rule of thumb is when doing a plumbing project it always takes 3 trips to the store in order to get the components to finish the job.  My dad did NOT live next door to the hardware store, so any trips he made for project supplies usually resulted in an all day event, which usually meant taking mom out to lunch.  His rule was if you’re going to buy a part, buy TWO.  You always drop the first and break it, or strip it, or melt it, so you had better have a back up just in case you didn’t want to make another all day trip, which would then require buying supper out.

So I a learned that lesson, anytime I’m buying a part I buy two.  Then as I look at it, I begin to wonder if I’m holding the right size, so just in case a get the one size smaller and probably better—just to be sure also the next size bigger, and the RULE–buy two!!  So, going to the store for A part, I come home with SIX!!  Sometimes I take the extras back, usually I just keep them for the next project or for the neighbor that might need them.

Another thing I learned from dad was HOW to buy a new “gadget.   Actually I learned this from MOM who always called dad on it.  Dad would decide he wanted something new, a tool, or device of some sort.  He’d go to town look them over, but not wanting to “waste” his money on an unknown, would always opt for the cheapest.  Get it home, not like it, and then go back and buy what he should have purchased the first time.

I have been thinking for some time about a toaster oven.  Why??  Well, I blogged before about the current offerings of regular toasters on the market today.  None of which are made here, and none which toast to my liking.   A toaster oven has crossed my mind for a few years.  (I don’t jump quickly, but pondering my age, I’d better not hold back too long!)  We have some friends that have a toaster oven as does my mother.

I decided yesterday that three years was long enough to ponder a toaster oven, so while the wife was in Wally World, I detoured to the Kitchen Appliance display.   I found just what I was wanting a $19 unit!  But wait I perused the others, I spun, or twisted the dials. I considered my dad’s gadget purchase methods……….the $19 one seems chintzy.   But the $80 Cuisinart felt real good.  So I grabbed the box, thinking of dad’s purchasing methods, quite happy with myself that I could do this in ONE visit. Wait!! The box I grabbed had been opened, the only other unit was the display.  Now, everybody can buy the open box items and SCORE big, except for me.  If there’s cherry pie, I get the slice with the pit, or if its a bowl of soup, I get the one with plastic in it, give me a hamburger and I’ll find the broken glass in the meat…AND never get satisfaction for my discoveries!  So, an open box to me means broken or missing parts.

I look around some more and settle for the next price down, a Farberware, well Ok, $50, but the dials feel good and everything appears to be put together satisfactorily.  I get it home and unpack it.  Boy is  this thing BIG.  It must be 3 times the size of my mother’s. What did I do???  It can toast, bake, heat, defrost, broil and do convection . It does rotisserie, has two racks and toast 6 slices (good for when the kids come once or twice a year). It can bake 2 pizza’s at once.  There’s hardly enough room on the counter, so it needs to be stored, hidden away as my wife says.

The wife, wanted toast the next morning, from the new toaster oven.  Automatic it is!!  Put in the bread, turn the dial to 2 slices, press start, 3 minutes (seems long) but you have toast!  Cool!

Hint—on the second toasting remember to take out the “drip” pan, helps the bottom of the bread to toast!!!

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