Our guest blogger this week is Dave Atkinson. Dave is a children's author and writer, along with many other roles, including communications officer, broadcaster, husband, and father. You can check out his Wereduck Trilogy - Wereduck, Cure For Wereduck and The Wereduck Code at Nimbus Publishing or locally in Charlottetown at Bookmark.
I love the sound of our electric kettle.
I love hearing someone tap the switch to turn on the kettle when I’m on the other side of the house. I love how twenty seconds later, it begins to make noise. It’s a quiet rattle at first, but grows into a full rumble as the water inside comes to a rolling boil.
The sound is comforting. It means someone is brewing a cup of tea or making a coffee. It means someone is taking a minute in this crazy day to sit down and have a hot drink.
I love that.
I didn’t love the kettle when it first came home.
“It’s glass,” I said.
“I know,” said Erin. “I didn’t love that either. But it was on.”
That’s our code for on sale. It means she got a deal.
“Oh, by a lot?” I asked.
“So much,” she said. “It was so on.”
“Cool,” I said. “I can get used to glass.”
A month later.
“So the kettle,” she said. “Have you noticed the scale?”
“Oh yeah,” I said.
“It’s kind of crazy,” she said. “Like, it hasn’t been that long and look at it.”
We looked.. The silver bottom was coated in a layer of white crumbs and dust.
“Let me run it with some vinegar,” I said. “We’ll see how that works.”
Twenty minutes later.
“Wow,” I said.
“Wow,” said Erin.
“It looks brand new,” I said.
“Wow,” she said.
Descaling the kettle became my new favourite job. Whenever any amount of scale starts to accumulate at the bottom of the kettle, I dump in a bunch of vinegar and click the button to let it boil.
“Wow,” I say, every time. “It’s like a miracle.”
And it is!
It is a dang miracle. Just a bit of vinegar brings that kettle back to brand new.
“I love this kettle,” I say.
Six months later.
Leo popped his head into the living room.
“Hi!” he said cheerily.
“Hi, Leo!” I said.
Leo is one of my daughter’s friends. He’s been coming to visit for years.
We love Leo. He’s like family.
“Do you mind if I make myself an oatmeal packet?” he asked.
“Of course not,” I said. “Do you know where they are?”
“Sure do,” he said.
I heard him clatter around the kitchen. I love that my kids’ friends feel comfortable in our house.
I heard him tap the switch on the kettle. I heard him grab a bowl and spoon. I heard him rustle around with the box of instant oatmeal and rip open an individual package.
A few minutes later, he popped his face in the doorway.
“Is it crazy if I doctor this up with, like, nuts and raisins and stuff?” he asked.
“Doctor away,” I said.
“Nice,” he said.
What a good guy that Leo is, I thought to myself. Sixteen years old and choosing oatmeal for a snack.
I heard his spoon clank against the bowl as he took his first bite.
“Hmm,” he said quietly.
I heard him dip another spoonful.
“Huh,” he said.
“Is everything OK,” I said, before making a horrible realization. “OH NO!” I shouted.
I leapt out of my seat to sprint to the kitchen.
“LEO, STOP,” I said.
He stared at me across the kitchen.
“Leo,” I said. “The kettle… was full of vinegar.”
Leo looked thoughtful.
“Well,” he said finally. “That does explain a few things.”
Leo was over to visit last weekend.
He made himself a cup of tea.
Before he tapped the button, he carefully sniffed the kettle to make sure it was water.
Like he always does.