Way back when ... in November, I wrote about Saint Paul who is the patron saint of those with no mechanical aptitude. At least he is this both to Cuppa and me.
He's been at it again. On Thursday, he who possesses at least two iterations of every tool known to the planet, helped me to:
- powerwash the front deck;
- change rotting boards on the back deck.
Of course, when I say that he helped me, I mean that he helped me out. As a matter of fact, I did nothing. He prefers it that way. In fact, he suggests that I can help him best by leaving the county and not returning until sundown. He's right, of course, for I am inept at just about any task that requires the slightest amount of manual dexterity — such as passing a hammer without dropping it.
I like to cook, for example, but there are lots of dropsies and oopsies when I am in the kitchen. Generally speaking, a pack of ravenous, wild wolves could survive longer off my floor than a one, single, solitary, wizened, old granny could survive off what comes out of any typical dozen of my cooking pots.
Beyond that, there lies the sad truth that I am not an artist. My cooking is no more art than is painting by numbers or coloring inside the lines. I simply follow a recipe: on my better days that is, for it is not uncommon for me to miss rather vital steps. Have you had chicken without poultry? How about chili sans beans?
The Saint cooks like Michelangelo painted. Now, I don't mean to suggest that Paul actually cooks on the ceiling (although he has been known to get plastered at times) or on scaffolding suspended under impressive domes. What I mean is that he invents his recipes and perfects them over the years.
Tonight, last night now, he made his secret beans and secret ribs. Absolutely delicious. And get this: he actually remembers what he puts in each recipe. Me? I cook by the numbers, and when somebody quizzes me about the ingredients, I soon start to stammer and mutter and look at Cuppa with pleading, puppy dog eyes. I do that because I am pretty well clueless about what I used and the steps that I took. Oh, they'll seem familiar when I look them up again next time, but the point remains, that look them up I must, for I remember scant little without some prodding. Meanwhile, Cuppa can usually recite the main ingredients even though she was busy reading Oprah's latest insights into living the abundant life while I was fussing and fuming over the stove.
But isn't this what makes life interesting, what builds community? I can read, write, teach, take photos, print photos, do web pages. Not everybody can do all of those things. If we all wanted to spend our time reading and writing, who would build the printing presses, invent the microprocessor, fell the trees to make the paper. And on and on.
So, thanks again, dear Saint, for filling in the gaps. And maybe, just maybe, when you're next on the graveyard shift, you can read my words, which is about all that I can offer in return. Words and thanks.