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Kismet, karma and clues


Three potholders mysteriously disappeared while Sabra was in the hospital recovering from a stroke. The one and only clue that bears on the case is that over the same time period and in very much the same area of the kitchen I broke three wine glasses.
Last week I wrote about my belief in God, but I also believe that the universe is run by vast, complicated machinery. Everything is connected. The classic illustration of this is the theory that a butterfly flapping its wings in Japan can cause a hurricane or tornado on the other side of the world months later. Call it God’s autopilot, karma, kismet or quantum mechanics: every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
As a human, I’ve broken my share of dinnerware but three glasses in two-and-a-half weeks is a lot even for me. Maybe my mind was elsewhere? Maybe Sabra’s being in the hospital pulled a lever, which released a ball that caused my hand to shake in a cosmic Rube Goldberg reaction. In any event, I cleaned up the wreckage and reported the mishap to the household boss, a.k.a. Sabra. I knew there was no point in trying to hide the damage, the woman is a walking inventory of every item, big or small, in the house.
The potholders are a good example. We have a drawer full of them but not only did she recognize instantly that three were missing but she could describe them and recount their origin. This from a woman who can’t remember the plot line of last night’s episode of “Castle.”
Other than the potholders and glasses, things are returning to normal in our household.
Sabra has gone back to a project– building a cabinet for our new television– she started before her stroke. Our old television was a console built sometime during the Eisenhower administration. One of the first color units on the market, the tubes that allowed that function burnt out years ago so we’ve been watching Kate Beckett in black and white. I could live with that but its habit of suddenly losing signal just as Richard Castle named the murderer was driving me crazy. So we are the proud owners of a new wide but flat screen TV. Sabra thinks it’s ugly so she’s building the cabinet, complete with tin panels and a southwestern motif. When it’s finished she wants to give it a distressed look so it appears antique like our old RCA.
She could have just let me build it, then no distressing would be needed, but whatever.
Pearl and the cats are happy Sabra’s back. When their mistress is gone, the critters seem to disappear, becoming visible to me only at mealtime. Now they’re back to following her around the house.
It’s hard to tell if the chickens missed Sabra, but it’s easy to tell they love the warmer weather that’s arrived lately. The chicken yard is a mess however, because I spilled straw while mucking out the hen house. I tried forking the straw into the compost bin located inside the chicken yard but it was full to the top with snow Sabra shoveled in there before her injury.
Me, I’m back to hiding out in my upstairs’ office where I write this column, read, play video games, and watch old episodes of “Rockford Files” on Netflix. It’s my man cave, or more accurately, eagle’s nest, as I have a great view of the Iowa River Valley, Kinnick Stadium and even the gold dome of the old capitol building in Iowa City.
I also was practicing the guitar but gave it up recently. Between a tin ear, a total lack of rhythm and a missing fingertip I finally had to come to grips with the fact that I’ll never be a rock star.
So I packed the old “git stick” in its case and put it away. While doing so I noticed that the instrument was flopping around in the case, the six string was too small or the case too big. I solved the problem by grabbing some pads from the kitchen and stuffing them inside.