Little things


I have a hyperactive brain. It’s both a blessing and a curse.

It helps me with my creativity and puzzle solving. It hinders me with over-complicating things and over-thinking. I’m used to it.

Funny thing is, except for the brain on warp speed, I’m a guy who likes things simple. I’d like to say that’s because I’m retired, but it’s been something I’ve felt all my life. I like things simple and because of that, little things have a way of bringing me big pleasure.

So, at the risk (not a great one, considering my readership) of evincing looks of askance, I offer you a few of the little things that thrill me.

It’s in the bag

In the early years of my BBQ parties, I used to over over-prepare. As any host knows, you always over prepare, but I would add an extra layer of over.

This had the inevitable result of leaving me with lots of leftovers. Most of those could be stored sensibly, but for some reason I always struggled with the excess corn on the cob (no, not as much as in the picture, but surprisingly close).

One day, a friend of mine showed me that if I alternated the cobs (fat and thin ends), I could fit more in the plastic bags. What a revelation! I’m still pleased by this idea today, though I rarely have more than one bag excess anymore.

Peelings, whoa whoa, Peelings

Another example of my Sammy Homemaker inexperience was peeling veggies, specifically carrots and cukes.

I had historically used a paring knife and had managed fairly well, with the occasional gouge causing me some small anxiety. As my needs for quantities of peeling increased (for those aforementioned BBQ parties), I suffered a few more veggie losses (probably due to pressure and speed).

One day, a different friend of mine (sense a pattern?) was cooking dinner for us and she was using a strange tool I had never seen before. When I asked her what it was she gave me one of those looks of askance I talked about earlier.

Surviving her gaze, I soon went out and bought my own peeler which has served me staunchly for the decade-plus I’ve owned it. And I still get a kick out of it each time I use it.

I’m no softie

I like to read. I like to see. These two things were constantly oppressed by the most common of situations, light bulbs.

For gosh knows how long, soft white bulbs were the standard for homes. That eerie yellowish tint that bathed the house was anathema to healthy reading (and not so thrilling for close shaving, either).

I was thrilled the day GE introduced “Reveal” bulbs, projecting a more natural white light they termed “daylight”.

From there, it was only a short time before I could get halogens (for the bathroom, generating heat for my post shower toweling and more brightness for the wattage) and, recently, LED for my dining room (where I regularly read the paper with breakfast).

I daresay I have not a single “warm” or soft white bulb in the house. I love my white lights every time I turn them on!

After the flood

Once upon a time I bought a home. It had an ancient floodlight with those famous big colored floodlight bulbs. I used to change them out during Halloween to be more eerie.

Time (and possibly the painters/landscapers for the development) had that old floodlight flopping down off the wall and inoperable.

My first replacement attempt was a solar floodlight. Cool idea, bad execution. Within two years it was simply flashing, strobe-like, in one second increments. Totally useless in trying to find the keyhole on my door at night.

Recently, I picked up a new LED floodlight, classic electricity-powered, and watched in awe at the spectacular brightness that rained down across the front of my home. When I go out for my pre-dawn walk in the morning, it never ceases to make me grin at the pure, wide and, most importantly, steady stream of light.

Change for the better

When I was young, Dad had this little change holder in his car. It had double-backed tape to sit on the dashboard and little spring-loaded slots for nickels, dimes and quarters.

I thought the thing was spiffy keen. When I got my first car, I didn’t have one. Cars had ashtrays back then and most of us non-smokers used them for change. Sure, they made noise, but cars were noisier in general back then.

Years upon years later, cars stopped including ashtrays (you had to order them now), but they started including “coin trays” in the vehicles. Meh. Invariably, the coins flopped around and still made noise, now more noticeable in the much more effectively built cars .

So I went looking and, though I can’t remember where, found my Dad’s old coin holder (not his, mind you, but just like his). I didn’t tape it to the dashboard (heavens!), just put it in the arm rest compartment, but boy I do love that puppy when I’m rolling into a fast food drive-through or have to park by a meter.


And that’s just a few of my little things that give my big pleasure. Simple, but satisfying. No over-complication required!

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