Years ago, my mother was enamored with the unprecedented technology.First, electricity came, and we had a single bulb hanging from the ceiling in each of our 12 rooms.
Years ago, my mother was enamored with the unprecedented technology.First, electricity came, and we had a single bulb hanging from the ceiling in each of our 12 rooms. The reason we had so many rooms is our house originally was built as a tavern (an inn) in 1805. It served the north country of New York as an inn for the next century. My parents bought the farm, including the house, in 1928.After electricity, all kinds of new-fangled appliances arrived. Our old gasoline-powered washing machine now was run by electricity. Our wood stove was replaced by an electric stove.And wonder of wonders, my father no longer had to cut large chunks of ice from our pond and store them all summer in the ice house — making sure there was plenty of sawdust between the blocks. Our old ice box now was replaced by a wonder-working refrigerator that made ice instead of requiring ice.Always quick to throw out the old and embrace the new, my mother discarded our old ice cream freezer and began freezing ice cream in the fridge.She bought an ice cream mix that came in Jell-O-like boxes and mixed it with eggs, milk and cream. After the mixture was frozen, she beat it until smooth with another up-to-date contraption — a Hamilton Beach mixer.After it was frozen again, the ice cream was good. But not nearly as good as the old-fashioned kind.My mother was very curious about electricity. Wondering whether she had the power to stop the beaters in her Hamilton Beach when they were running, she tried it — with predictable results. Cut fingers!And later, when we had a spin-dry washer, she did the same thing — trying to stop the washer when it was spinning. With similar results.By that time, I was a college student home for vacation. As we stood around the kitchen looking at my mother’s swollen hand, she said to me, “Let that be a lesson to you.”My father, with characteristic humor, said, “Why should that be a lesson to Marie?” I was thinking the same thing.Like my mother, I’ve done some unintelligent things I think other people should learn lessons from. Such as the time I almost set my office on fire.For 25 years, I was communications director at a mental health facility and often took pictures for publications. As a result, I had a magnifying glass on my desk to peruse the negatives.I never went to my office weekends, except one Saturday I did. Imagine my disbelief when I saw a 12- to 18-inch curl of smoke coming from the magnifying glass. After closer inspection, I learned my desk was actually burning. How fortunate I had come!So if you are this side of 60 and have trouble seeing, let my mistake be a lesson to you. Keep your magnifying glass in a drawer and never in direct sunlight.But the more important lesson is: NEVER WORRY. You always worry about the wrong things anyway.What’s more important is being in synchronicity and following your intuition.I’ll never know why I went to my office that particular Saturday afternoon, but it doesn’t matter. The important thing is I went!©2009 Marie SniderMarie Snider is an award-winning health-care writer and syndicated columnist. Write Marie Snider at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her Web site at www.visit-snider.com.