An object appeared on our kitchen table last week. This is nothing new. Objects appear on our kitchen table all the time. Sometimes they are kitchen appropriate. Sometimes they are not. Mail, shoes in need of repair, screwdrivers, photographs, and hundreds of other things that are on their way to a home elsewhere inside our walls, but they don't always have a specific purpose related to the kitchen table. This was a rare exception.
At first, I struggled with the mechanics of the thing. How was this to be used, and who would use it? Then I looked at it from a different angle and it came clear: This was the mixing bowl attachment for a mixer. It looked as though it had seen much better days. I assumed at this point that it was a reclamation project, pulled off the world's scrap heap by my son or wife to find some future use in our daily process. Or to be shoved into a pile in this or that corner until we finally got around to giving it away or having that mystical and legendary event only described in tales told late at night or early in the morning: A garage sale. This mixing bowl was, in my mind, probably rescued from someone else's garage sale heap to be stored at our house for an indeterminate amount of time until we could marshal our forces to have one of our own. It turns out that I was wrong.
The mixing bowl attachment in question was the stand for the hand mixer that I had been using just a few days before. It had never occurred to me that you could lash the durable and trusty mixer that I have grown so fond of over the years to another chunk of plastic and make it hands-free. This revelation was, for me, stunning. I briefly questioned my wife's assertion that we have owned this machine for any period of time, but she assured me that it was part of a wedding gift that we had received at the dawn of our homesteading project. I thought of all the times that this little conversion kit would have come in handy. I considered all the ways that my life could have been made simpler by using this adapter. It was, in a word, embarrassing. It got worse.
"Where has this magical piece been all these years?" I asked my patient wife.
"In the soffit,"she patiently replied.
"We have soffits?"