An Alpha Move with Beta Moments

An Amana dishwasher whose color is best described as “wan tan” and whose age is indeterminate but certainly older than any of my high school students.

A gas stove (the nomenclature here has always daunted me—range? oven?) in black whose age more closely approximates the middle schoolers whose twitchy jitters make me shudder.

A bench of slatted wood sitting under the kitchen window where the driveway meets the side door of my house, a bench pressed enough by weather to regress to the color of “not.”

I inherited these items when I became a homeowner eleven years ago.

The stove sputtered to a stop earlier this month; apparently the aging igniter no longer ignites (must. avoid. easy. metaphor. here.), and an ignition remix will cost more than the stove is worth. A replacement arrives next week.

The dishwasher still works—sort of. Sometimes it leaks a bit, as all systems do, though more noticeably than grammar. Sometimes the drain fails to provide proof of concept. “Clean” has itself become a shifting continuum; meanwhile, I fear the neighbors hear the dishwasher operate—this is not a subtle beast. A replacement arrives next week.

The bench remains, but with a personally chosen and applied fresh coat of paint—”Rookwood Dark Red.”

Repainting a bench may merit scant mention for most, but for craft-addled me, this is an alpha move. An alpha move with beta moments to be sure, most notably the sheen of terror at the Bazooka Joe color on initial application. Trust the reasoning —let the paint dry, bubblegum becomes burgundy. A bench renewed, ready to weather further seasons.

Sometimes what worked in the past needs replacing. Sometimes what worked in past needs refreshing. Sometimes we need to be patient with the process.

The new school year begins soon.


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