Doing what you can, to infinity and beyond

You do what you can do.

If my week had a theme to it, that was probably it.

I was commissioned to make Rice Krispies treats/a.k.a marshmallow treats as the dessert for one night of our church’s Vacation Bible School program this past week.

The theme was “Farm Fresh Faith” so our very creative coordinators envisioned the marshmallow treats would be little bales of hay stacked around toy tractors.

I can do that, I thought when I agreed to harvest this clever little request, thinking back to my days as a child who was all about the crafts, homemade cookies and Kool-Aid that made Vacation Bible School such a special summer memory.

I mean how tough can it be to make a dessert that calls for all of three ingredients — the cereal, a little butter and a bag of marshmallows. Come on!!

Well, it did turn out to be a hardship actually because when the time came to make good on the promise, I didn’t have any of the ingredients and even less gumption. Somehow I got behind with good intentions and, honestly, who wants to clean a pan you’ve made gooey marshmallow treats in anyway, right?

So, yes, I went to the store, and yes, I bought two boxes of 40-count marshmallow treats, figuring that what I had spent on that, I had saved in time, muscle power spent stirring, water and dish detergent and aggravation.

I arrived at the church early in hopes that no one would see me frantically cutting open the individually packaged treats and putting them on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet, passing them off as if they’d been made with my own bare hands. Such amazing uniformity all these “bales of hay” had. Quite remarkable. But wait.

For some reason, a line from “Toy Story” came to mind at that moment, the one where Buzz Lightyear tells Woody, “You are a sad, strange, little man. You have my pity. Farewell.”

“Cheater, cheater!!” laughed the VBS coordinator who caught me in mid-marshmallow treat cut when she walked in the church kitchen and found me scissor-handed. Busted!

You do what you can do.

Marshmallow treats were needed. Marshmallow treats were provided.

Ditto for the grass needing mowed at home.

I grew up in a household where certain duties were gender specific.

Dad gardened. Mom canned.

Dad drove. Mom road shotgun.

And Dad mowed. Not mom.

Not me either, although I think one time I pushed a non-motorized lawnmower in my youth — a chore more suited for bodybuilding than grass maintenance.

Circumstances were such this past week, however, that I was on the riding mower for the first time in my life, getting more instructions than I cared to process.

You start giving me too many directions, and my brain shuts down. Input overload.

Give me too many lefts and rights and go this way and follow the signs to find a particular room in a building, and I figure I’ll just keep asking as I make my way. Same with mowing.

I drove around and did my best.

Sure, there were some Mohawk stretches here and there, but overall, not too shabby for a mowing newbie.

Maybe I’m not all that sad and strange after all.

Until next week, “to infinity and beyond!”

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)


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