Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Life is a Handheld Mixer Or.....

I like the analogy of life to a common household appliance, the mixer. Look at all the ingredients that go into the mix---genes, environment, the people who influence us, the events that shape us, the list is endless. The combinations are endless. And then there is the control of the mixer itself; sometimes the beaters move slowly and sometimes they whip around seemingly out of control.

To me the only question is: is life a handheld mixer or is there something else out there?

What are the attributes of a handheld? A handheld mixer can be used anywhere. It's portable. It has power sufficient to do most things. For my entire married life, I've had a handheld mixer. We've lived in seven different towns or cities. We've moved a dozen times. And look at the rest of the mix---different jobs, different friends and acqaintances, different homes, different times and events. Through it all, we were never given more challenges than we could successfully handle; the power of the handheld mixer was adequate. Of course there were times when we felt we were riding on an out-of-control merry-go-round and times when time dragged. But my old handheld mixer kept working.

So what is the alternative to a handheld mixer? A big, brawny, powerful stand mixer. It never occurred to me to get one as long as I had a mixer that worked. However, I started thinking about a stand mixer that would allow me stir things up without standing there holding the mixer throughout the whole process. I thought about the extra power that would allow me to make bread. Finally, I asked Santa to bring me a stand mixer for Christmas; I got it.

Now a stand mixer is different from a handheld mixer. One has to find a place for it, a large, level, handy, permanent spot. Sort of like what Hornell, New York has become to us. We are surrounded by hills, trees, fresh air, supportive neighbors, friends and family, nearby medical assistance, knowing that we don't have to handle everything alone throughout the whole process, and a feeling of finally being home.

And someday I' m even going to make bread.

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