Thursday, March 18, 2010

If It IS Broke

We’re having a contest here at our house. To see how long we can go without things when they break. Three months seems to be the record so far. That’s how long it took to replace my Geo Prizm when it quit on me. With over 200,000 miles on it, surely it can last a couple more years, right? Fred at Glendale Auto said no. Melody, my little (yet tall) sister sent us to a place in Upland that sells used cars, and it took awhile before one came available. We kept borrowing vehicles from family members until we found out we had a February deadline – our niece Danielle would be getting her license, and could (finally) drive herself to all of her various musical and dramatic rehearsals.

Before we had a replacement lined up, the electric mattress pad stopped heating. Of course, at the start of a very long winter. Luckily I have these “hot things,” these bean-filled fabric-covered things that I can heat up in the microwave. A couple of these in the bed at least helped me get to sleep, although I didn’t enjoy waking up cold and smelling like beans. I finally broke down after two months. I was trying to make it until spring, but then the microwave stopped waving its waves.

It’s funny (or not) that when some products and appliances stop working, our brains stop working. When the microwave wouldn’t heat anymore, my first thought was, “Oh great, now I can’t have soup.” I whined to one of my piano students, and she said “We don’t have a microwave.” Then I thought, wait a minute, we have a stove, we have burners with real fire under them. I CAN make soup! In fact, when I was a little girl, we didn’t have a microwave either, and we cooked all the time!!!

When we bake biscuits for breakfast, or cookies for dessert, we make extras and freeze them for the next day. But now, we can’t pop a biscuit in the microwave to reheat. So we put our thinking caps on and realized. . . that a biscuit can fit in the TOASTER OVEN! What a revelation! And it tastes better and stays crispier on the outside than when it is microwaved! A cookie, on the other hand, can’t be re-baked. How do we solve this important dilemma??????

You are probably wondering what this all has to do with music and creativity. Well, let me take The Thinker pose again. Creativity is about working within our limits and solving problems. Using our imaginations. Looking at things a different way. Perhaps even seeing our limits as our freedom.

It would make a better story if I said we skipped the car and bought used bikes, skipped the electric heating pad and wore layers to bed, and didn’t buy a microwave after all. The latter part is still possible – we’ll see.

Oh, and by the way, I've been thawing a fresh cookie for you all day.


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