Monday, May 10, 2010

My Non-refundable Life

THE PHONE AND TOASTER oven both died last weekend ... just after their warranties expired. The socket where the toaster oven had been plugged into also stopped working. And the e-mails my friend repeatedly tried to send me never arrived. It probably wasn’t a conspiracy. But seeking help from various “support services” was like falling into a black hole or getting lost in a maze of a thousand hedges. Although there is pretense of help, there seems to be no real solution in this disposable age. I learned that repair (if not impossible) costs slightly more than a new purchase. I also learned all the tools in the world won’t repair a socket, if you don't know anything about wiring.

My response to all the unfixables was to leave them behind for another time and explore early morning at Crescent Beach.

As the cliché says, I stopped to smell the roses.

There were fragrant bunches of wild uncut flowers lining the pathways.

I saw puddles pool in the sand ...

and heard tall grasses whispering to the stony shore.

The broom splashed a bright shock of yellow into the hazy gray.

My short-lived gadgets, far from solid as a rock, reminded me that my body parts are like any other parts.

So now was not too soon to enjoy the sights ...

and savor the sensation of my own non-refundable life.


  1. It's wonderful to be able to learn a life lesson from a dead toaster, isn't it?
    Your pictures are beautiful, and one of them reminded me of something I learned lately. It seems the most eco-friendly way to prevent dandelions from spreading in your lawn or garden is to use another household tool. When the dandelion has gone to seed, and before the seeds have broadcast themselves around the neighborhood, vacuum the fluffy part off the plant. Then the plant "thinks" it has done its job and spread its seeds, so it won't flower again the way it would if the flower was merely cut off and thrown away.

  2. The connections you made in this brilliant post have been with me all week. So many thoughts came to mind: memories of my dear, mechanically talented father, and his frustration as he watched the onset of the throw-away era, my own disappointment as gadgets that have served me well become more expensive to repair than replace, the way you have of putting word-thoughts to pictures (loved the whispering grasses), and then, the piece de resistance, the reminder to cherish and use to the very best our own "non-refundable" body parts and life. Thanks, Penelope!

  3. Anonymous, thanks for stopping by with your unique eco-friendly tip. Sounds quite logical and a lot more fun vacuuming dandelion seeds than the carpeting. It would also be more entertaining for the neighbors. :)

    Carol, I appreciate your comments. And yes … generations past could compare quality and wistfully notice it slipping away in many products nowadays. Hopefully future generations will go back to making products that last as more people see how the growing mountain of throwaways has endangered our very existence.


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