Trina Machacek: Wait for the ding

Trina Machacek

Trina Machacek

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Trying to slow down and wait is a never-ending battle for me. It really started a long time ago. Way back when the first fax machines that regular people could afford to have in their homes became available.
We got one around 1988; I think but I’m not taking the time to go look it up for sure. See, I truly am not ready to slow down. Our first fax machine used thermal paper which somehow grabbed information from the phone lines, heated the words and burnt them into the rolls of very thin weirdly smooth paper. Which then left little rolled up pieces of paper all over the floor if you were not there to catch them and smooth them out by running them upside-down along the edge of the desk to flatten the papers. It was an amazing time to see pages of oh so important stuff appear with a gurrrr as paper was spit out of the machine. Such a time saver.
Then the process became mundane. Then it became slower to me. I remember standing next to that modern day miracle and saying, “Come on, spit it out!” Time moved to fast to wait in the electronic world. Just think of that. Things were moving at the speed of light and sound and I was saying, “COME ON ALREADY!”
Let’s move over to the kitchen. In my lifetime I’ve cooked with both gas and electric stoves. I do like the cleanliness of the electric stove. But man, it’s so slow to heat up. There’s much to be said for a gas stove. Just flip a knob and wooooof, flames, heat and you’re off to the races. With electric you may find yourself turning the burners on high to speed up the cooking process. I have an inkling that even if you turn the burner on high it doesn’t make the electricity go faster to make the coil glow cherry red any faster. But! Yes a heat emitting “but.”
But if electricity moved faster I would be all over the idea. You know what happens when you turn an electric burner on high to cook an egg? Well first you smoke up the kitchen with that little spat of butter you flick off your spatula into a super heated pan. Then things go downhill from there. The smell of burning fried eggs on Sunday morning tends to linger. I might add, that the spitting and sputtering also will take away the cleanliness of cooking with an electric stove too.
Speaking of taking a quick two step in the kitchen here is one of the funniest and possibly the ultimate “hurry up” things I have seen done. And yes, I do this too. It revolves around the miracle of the microwave oven. Yes the miracle of cooking faster and hotter. Not to mention this magic marvel can turn a chicken strip into a rock faster than you can say, “Dang I burnt the popcorn again.”
I got my first microwave long ago and I remember writing the check for it to this day. It was $179.99 plus tax and was the biggest check I had ever written at that time. The pricey thing was heavy and took up more counter space than my mixer, blender and deep fryer that were all stuffed in under counter cabinets to make room for the modern marvel. In all the years I’ve had several different models I have to admit that I still have never really “cooked” with it. Pretty much all it does is pop the occasional bag of popcorn, heat stuff up and defrosts a pound of hamburger for Taco Tuesday.
Now here’s the thing. I have to walk away every time I push the start button. If I don’t, I find myself getting angry at how slow it counts down the seconds, yes seconds, for my whatever to be finished getting zapped. How can I not have the patience to wait for the ding to ding and announce the cinnamon roll that I have slathered with butter is warm and gooey and ready to be smacked by my waiting lips? I’m talking seconds of time. Not minutes or half minutes. Seconds. Eight, seven, six, fiv — click, open the door, done enough. HAHA Do I even hit the stop button? Nope, I just open the door.
I’m trying to teach myself to wait. I was watching the timer not long ago and thought that of all the time in life I can wait a few more seconds. Then I discovered, when the timer ends there are five dings not just one. Just when did they add extra dings?
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her books are available online where you buy books or email her at to buy signed copies.


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