Did you feel a little sad last Tuesday? You know, the 16th of February?
But I wasn't sure why.
At first, I thought it was because I had just had three days in a row away from work. But, I wasn't particularly annoyed at work.
Then, I thought it was because I had forgotten to pick something up the night before at Costco. Nothing is as sad as knowing you were JUST at Costco, but didn't get everything on your list. But then I remembered how much Darrell and I love going to Costco, so it would be the perfect excuse to go back soon.
So, after much thought, I couldn't explain why I was in a funk.
Until I read this:
Ronald Howes, a lifelong inventor responsible for creating the Easy-Bake Oven (as well as defense weaponry), died last Tuesday.
It's true folks. One of the true heroes of our day has passed away. And it was last Tuesday, on why-am-I-feeling-a-little-out-of-sorts day.
Let me tell you a little about why this man will always be a hero to me:
As a little girl, I always wanted an Easy-Bake Oven. Every Christmas, when the big, seven-inch thick Sears catalog showed up, you were guaranteed to find the page with the Easy-Bake Oven was going to be dog-eared. I HAD to get myself an Easy-Bake Oven! It was similar to Ralphie's obsession with the "Red Ryder carbine-action, two hundred shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing which tells time" in The Christmas Story. Only, no one ever told me that I would shoot my eye out.
I was fascinated that you could bake a whole cake with nothing more than a light bulb! Clearly there was magic involved!
But I didn't get an Easy-Bake Oven when I was eight, or nine, or even twelve. No! I had to wait until I was--are you ready for this?--thirty! Yes, I was a full-on adult. I was even older than my mom had been when I first asked for one. (OK, as a side-bar, that makes me feel really old!).
Now let me tell you how I came to get my Easy-Bake Oven. At Thirty.
My mom had spent the better part of her life hearing about my desire for an Easy-bake Oven or how that was the only toy I ever wanted, but it eluded me. So, the day after Thanksgiving--yes, BLACK Friday--before the economy melted down and people spent money they didn't even have, my mom (who only spent a part of the money she had, and never spent money she didn't have), braved the crazies at WalMart. Yes, the devil store itself. On the devil's shopping day. To buy nothing more than an Easy-Bake Oven for her 30 (THIRTY) year old daughter. Who, by the way, was earning enough money to buy one herself.
A couple of days later, I called my mom to tell her of my good fortune! My co-workers had felt so bad that I had never had an Easy-Bake Oven, so they bought me one as an early Christmas present.
Okay, so there are a couple of issues here:
First, a thirty year-old woman is telling her co-workers how horrible her life has been since she never had an Easy-Bake Oven.
Second, they feel bad enough for her that they purchase her the said toy.
Third, her mother had endured WalMart, the day after Thanksgiving, at-did I mention it?-FIVE in the MORNING, so that she could give her daughter the funnest Christmas present. EV.ER.
Fourth, it was spoiled by the daughter's ridiculous pre-occupation with this TOY!
So yeah. I could have TOTALLY had TWO Easy-Bake Ovens and been the luckiest girl in the world!
A couple of days after I got my Easy-Bake Oven, I made an adult-sized cake mix (and, as a thirty year-old, I was allowed to use the electric hand-mixer) and took it, along with my Easy-Bake Oven to work.
We made cakes all day long.
It was the birthday of one of my co-workers. She got a four layer cake.
Come to think of it, I think it may be time to dust off the ol' Easy-Bake Oven and make me a treat!
RIP Ronald Howes, RIP!