Wondering what that pen is doing in the refrigerator


The other day I found a new recipe for beef vegetable soup for the newfangled cooker I bought last fall. The soup called for three cubes of beef bouillon, which I don’t use — have you seen the ingredient list for those. It’s got some stuff I don’t want to eat, so I just left it out. I did add a half teaspoon of salt, but that was it.

The soup turned out wonderfully, and we had it for supper. Joe liked it too, except for one thing — it didn’t have enough salt in it for him. And he likes soup better the next day after all the flavors have had a chance to blend. No problem — I had lots of soup left, so I put it in single-serving-sized glass containers and put it in the refrigerator.

In other news, earlier that week I spent an hour looking for my keys, which were about 3 feet away from the usual spot where I put them on the kitchen table — a spot I had looked at four times before I found them. I find it helpful to use a flashlight when looking for things so you can spotlight small areas at a time to really see what is there. The fourth time I was using a flashlight, so it makes a difference.

As I get older, one of the things I truly worry about is memory loss. Is this normal memory loss or is it something worse?

So the next morning, I get up, look in the refrigerator to grab some stuff for breakfast and the first thing I see is a blue pen sitting on top of one of the soup containers. Alarm bells were going off in my head, and my heart raced.

The first sign of “something worse” is putting objects in places they don’t belong — like pens in the refrigerator. Who put this pen in the refrigerator? Was it me? I don’t remember doing that, but I was the one who put the soup away.

Joe thinks I’m forgetful enough, so I’m not going to tell him about the pen. Worse, if he was the culprit and is heading for something worse, I don’t want to tell him either. So I went about the day keeping my mouth shut and contemplating a dismal future.

Later that evening Joe asks if I saw the pen in the refrigerator. What? He knows about the pen!

Turns out, unbeknownst to me, Joe had made one of his few cooking efforts and put more salt into one of the soup containers. He was hobbling around some after having minor knee surgery a few days before, and with nothing handy to mark his work, he grabbed a pen that was sitting nearby and placed it on top of the container. He figured I would ask why there was a pen in the refrigerator and all would be good.

What a relief. It is all good. Whew. It’s not me, and it’s not him.

We can continue on for the time being enjoying our lives and taking fun overnight trips, like our most recent one to Port Clinton and Sandusky.

As longtime “Star Trek” fans, we made a surprising discovery at the Sandusky Mall. It is the site of the Federation World Headquarters. The fan version of the Federation, a nonprofit organization, follows the prime directive of the “Star Trek” television shows and movies. They go places and help people.

I just felt right at home there. I made Joe take my picture sitting in the captain’s chair on the bridge display. I was holding a phaser and a tribble. And a picture in the one bay transporter chamber. If only we could get transporters in real life. Think of the time saved.

All the people who work at the Federation are volunteers, so 100% of donations goes to their humanitarian fund to help people. Administrative and operating costs of the Federation are paid for through the sale of really cool “Star Trek” and a few “Star Wars” items available at the store or on their website.

We bought a political sign for our yard: Kirk, Spock 2024. And I couldn’t leave without buying my lucky Federation red T-shirt with the phaser scorch mark on the front. Next time I’m looking for a Vulcan Science Academy T-shirt. There are good schools on Earth. But who doesn’t want to attend the Vulcan Science Academy? Beam me up.

For more information visit www.trekfederation.com.

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