img_2482It’s exciting to know that my smoke detector works! Recent events in my home have made me aware of this and I’m grateful.

After spending an hour concocting my favorite chili, I reduced the burner to simmer, poured a glass of wine, and sat down to my daily habit of computer gaming. I turned my back — and my attention — from the kitchen to an hour I look forward to most afternoons. A guaranteed chunk of time when this brain has nothing more to do than match up three tiles or shoot bubbles and the like. Ahhh, time to relax… but not really.

Any idea what 15 minutes on high does to a pot of chili? That baked on crust of burned tomatoes, burger and beans was gruesome. Apparently my mind was on the afternoon break in front of me and I turned the knob to high instead of low. Then the fatal mistake: I walked away to PLAY A STUPID GAME!!! Mind you, I was sitting eight feet away. But by the time I noticed the warning odor of “burn” — and ran — it was too late. The whole house filled with stink and smoke as I hurried around to open every window and door in sight. In less than five minutes this cozy little house filled with a haze that brought back the memory of a foggy San Francisco morning. The upside is we discovered that our one an
d only smoke alarm was missing something very important — THE BATTERY!!!dscn1028

I’ve burned plenty a meal, but this one wins the prize. I know first hand that those burners can get hot enough to melt the aluminum right off the bottom of a pan. Witness Carol’s last disaster. That time it was a phone call that captured my attention.

That a small computer screen could have so much power over me was startling and a huge wake-up call. Time is irrelevant when a game grabs my face and won’t let go. You know the drill, “I’ll just play one more time.” Right.