1n 1977 we left behind our little apartment on the Monorail in downtown Seattle and moved into our first home – a cinder block affair up in the Highlands area of Renton, WA. It was a simple rectangle comprised of – a living room, kitchen/dining room, bath, and two bedrooms. We’d been married only three years, and were expecting our first child (hence the need for a bigger place).
We were familiar with the area – down NE 6th St to Monroe Avenue NE, then west took us to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, where we were married. (And by a singular curiosity, going left on Monroe took us by Greenwood Memorial Park, and the gravesite of Jimi Hendrix).
I wasn’t much of a cook or a baker or even a bottle-washer. But I did pride myself that I could do breakfast – i. e. boil water.
I was going about this task one morning. The wife was out and I had the kitchen all to myself, and I had decided to make some oatmeal for my breakfast. So, I completed steps one through three –
1- put the water in a pot
2 – placed the pot on the stove, and
3 – turned the burner to high.
Something distracted my attention before step four, putting the oatmeal in. The exact detail escapes me. Newspaper delivery, perhaps. Something that needed my attention out in front of the house, anyway. That’s how I found myself out on the front yard, doing whatever it was – only come time to turn back and re-enter the house, I found a locked front door staring me in the face.
For some reason I pounded on the door – (maybe just to test if it really were locked, and not just stuck closed instead). Then panic sunk in as I realized that that pot of water was merrily bubbling away full blast on the stove. What could happen if I did not get back in, in time? And how much time would be too much time?
I waited too long under that particular sword of Damacles until I screwed up the resolve and broke a window in the back door and gained access to the kitchen.
But sadly, it was too late for the pot. The water had had enough time to boil completely off, destroying the pot (one of our wedding presents, of course). I had to explain the reason behind its demise and the state of the window to my wife upon her return.
I still make oatmeal for myself. It is still a favorite for breakfast. But these days, I always use the microwave.