WHENEVER I PLAN a major party at my house—and I’m not talking something as simple as a few dinner guests—I make lists. List of guests. To-do lists. A menu.
Lists help me focus and not feel overwhelmed. They help me budget my time. But plans and lists don’t always jive with how things actually work out.
Take the baby shower I gave for my eldest daughter and her husband last weekend. Weeks prior to the event, I baked cookies. Elephant shaped cut-out cookies to serve at the party. And M & M cookies to place in thank you gift bags for guests. But before the dough was baked and the cookies placed in the freezer, I had my first mishap. My hand-held mixer jammed, spewing bits of whatever into the cookie dough. Into the garbage went the dough and off to the store I went to purchase a new mixer. As for the mini elephant cookies, I proceeded with care lest the trunks break or burn.
Everything went smoothly during the week prior to the shower as I completed tasks and crossed them off my list. But my luck didn’t hold. Friday morning, the day before the shower, I mixed up a cookie dough dip, not to be confused with dough for cookies. The new mixer worked fine. But the spatula broke and there I was, forking through the dip in search of the missing rubber tip. Not to worry; I found it.
Next, I assembled the thank you bags, placing a bag of microwave popcorn, a packet of flower seeds and several M & M cookies inside to match a haiku I’d written with the words pop, grow and sweet. I’d printed the haiku days earlier and glued the poem to muted pink gold-trimmed tags purchased at Target.
When I was gluing the tags, I remember thinking, I wonder if this glue will hold. I should have listened to that inner doubt. After I’d tied several gift bags, I noticed the glue wasn’t holding. That meant more work—untying the bags I’d already tied and taping all the tags.
Both the spatula break and the tag snafu occurred before 9 a.m. This, I thought to myself, is not good. But the rest of the party prep went smoothly as did party day. For a March day in Minnesota, the weather was ideal, meaning no snow and good travel for all. We had plenty of food. Guests had a good time and I did, too.
The next day, after I finished washing dishes, I pulled the drain plug in the kitchen sink. The water disappeared, ever so slowly, emerging in the opposite sink. My husband removed the gooseneck. No clog there. He tried a snake. The clog remained. Then he turned on the air compressor and blew air through the drain pipe. That unclogged the clog. But he still had to head to the hardware store to replace the gooseneck section of piping which was now leaking.
As for me, I was simply thankful this problem didn’t occur on party day. Dealing with a clogged drain was definitely not on my to-do list.
© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling