I Ought to Know Better

Coming home from my writing class I was somehow elated and thinking of doing a clever piece of homework for next week. I had the perfect story! My mind being on many things did not stay focused and the thought just flew out of my head when I, turning into our driveway, couldn’t overlook the many broken branches and pine needles any longer. There had been a terrible storm a few days ago and so far I hadn’t had time to clean up the mess.

“I’ll get those out of the way as long as the weather is nice” I reminded myself, “Goodness knows what it will be like tomorrow. It’s still dry and rain is in the forecast. I can do the writing in the evening. Or tomorrow. Or Wednesday. I have no appointments ‘til Friday, lots of time.”

DSC00860I ought to have done my homework as I was in a great mood for it. My spirits high, I started the outside work telling myself I did need fresh air after sitting in class for several hours and another one in the car. The workout will be good for me. Take the cobwebs out. Once involved in cleaning up I noticed other things that I ought to do before it rained, so I kept going. I like doing laundry, cleaning or garden work because it does not involve concentration. It is a good way to let your mind run free or to work off stress and even anger. I got lost in my thoughts as it was getting dark. My stomach started growling. I hadn’t even eaten or drunk anything since I started nearly four hours ago. How stupid, I should know better. You ought to feed your body and keep it hydrated. I cleaned my different types of rakes, put them away and went inside. The yard looked great. It gave me a good feeling of accomplishment.

Open bookMy back hurt. I took a painkiller pill with a big glass of water on my empty stomach and sat down in a comfy chair, resting my back. I ought to have made myself some supper before sitting down because – can you guess? No, I did not fall asleep. There was a book with 852 pages lying on the table next to me. I had picked it up at the library more than a week ago and I had to return it in less than a week. By now I ought to be almost through it. I had finished another thinner book, for which I had waited several months. Seven other people had been on the waiting list. No time to even start this humongous big book. Okay, I might as well use the time sitting and resting to read a few lines. Wow! What a book! Before I knew it I finished the first chapter, glanced at the clock and allowed myself to read another one. It happened to be a rather long one. I ought to have stopped somewhere, the book would still be there later but I simply could not put it down.

My bladder finally gave me the push I needed to move. I would have loved to go right back to the book. I wasn’t really hungry anymore. I checked the freezer and found a pack of Italian prune plums I had frozen in September. I ought to have kept them for my next famous plum cake but they turned me on to have something refreshing. I put them in a pot, added very little water because of the frost on them, placed the pot on the stove and went back to my book. Totally engrossed in another world I jumped up with a start after hearing something pop and sizzle. I had totally forgotten the pot and the Burned potwhole kitchen smelled like plum jam in the process of burning. I pulled the pot off the stove onto the white counter and let it go because it was so hot. It had enough time to burn a brown ‘ring’ into the counter. I ought not to have opened the pot to avoid what happened next. Lifting the lid, now with heavy oven gloves on my hands, a thunder cloud of burning smoking steam came out and, jumping back, I let it fall onto the floor. Everything in the pot was dark brown and burned. It caused several brown burn spots in the white linoleum, right in front of the sink. Finally, with protected hands I grabbed the pot and placed it outside, closed the screen door but the wind was blowing the smoke right back inside before I had a chance to close the sliding glass door. I was afraid of the smoke alarm sounding and opened the doors to the garage and the front door, waving a towel frantically to keep the smoke away from the alarm area.

No use. I ought to be concentrating on one thing at a time. I am a multitasker but it’s getting harder with age. Ought I to know that? Ought I to remember that?

The smoke alarm did come on. The neighbours came running but everyone was relieved things were under control. The neighbours from across the street invited me to have a little dinner with them while my house aired out. Luckily nobody had phoned the fire department. I felt like a fool for the next few days. My nice almost new white counter was ruined and the linoleum about a foot in front of the counter as well. I bought a mat to cover the area. I didn’t like the looks of it but it was the only thing I could do short of replacing the whole, also new, floor in my little galley kitchen.

We really ought to keep our minds on the tasks at hand. Right?