It’s the little things in life


It’s the little things that make life easier.

I didn’t realize how spoiled I’d become until the turntable in the microwave stopped doing its one job – turning.

I don’t know how old the microwave is. It had a couple of former lives before it was abandoned at our house after a daughter’s college move. It worked OK, and was bigger than the one we were using, so it became The Microwave in the kitchen.

Years pass, and one day it becomes like a 1970s era microwave BT (before turntables). After cooking and reheating a few things – unevenly – I can see why someone won the Nobel Prize for Kitchen Innovation by putting a turntable in a microwave.

Well, they should have won a prize. It took microwave cooking to a new, evenly cooked level.

It’s the little things in life you hear.

One day when I stopped in Kroger hunting for useless carbs I heard someone talking. The kind of talking where no one’s responding — at least no one the rest of us can see. Talking like that can unkindly be called babbling.

I looked over and saw a mom with a baby strapped to her chest. She was telling the baby what they were shopping for, in all kinds of detail, in a pleasant voice. It was kind.

She talked to the baby in a voice that said, “Hey, I read that talking to you really helps your cognitive skills and vocabulary, so I’m going to tell you all about everything and I hope it helps your brain develop and that someday you’ll talk to me, too, and we can talk about why it’s not healthy to eat useless carbs and about your boyfriends and things.”

I was taken aback by the carbs part, but it was good to see a parent caring for their child in such a simple, yet powerful, way. The mom was absolutely right. Talking to a baby is good in all kinds of ways, from brain development to bonding. It made me smile.

That kid has a much better chance of not being the kid moms yell at in grocery stores.

It’s the little things in life you see.

It was getting late one night, and I was in a snacking mood. For useful carbs, of course. Doesn’t everyone crave useful carbs at night?

I had half of a watermelon in the basement fridge, and brought it up to the kitchen for the ceremonial cubing. As I sliced along the rind, an unusual pattern was revealed – a heart.

I’ve sliced up a lot of watermelons, slid a knife along a lot of rinds, and had never revealed something so simple and happy: A watermelon heart. It made me smile.

The pattern’s existence didn’t make any sense, but I didn’t think too much about it. I just enjoyed it.

I took it to the living room to show Laura, who’d had a rough couple of days. I said something goofy – what else do you say when you’re showing someone a watermelon rind heart? – and showed it to her.

Her face relaxed, and she smiled. It looked like it gave her a brief reprieve from her day.

That made me smile again.

It’s the little things in life that make life a little better.

By Gary Presley

Contributing columnist

Gary Presley is pagination director for AIM Media Midwest. You can reach him at [email protected]. The views expressed in this column are those of the writer and don’t reflect the views of this newspaper.

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