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LETTERS FROM THE NEST: Can I help you?

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By: CHRISTIE ELKINS

It is a sheer miracle to me that once we moved, we didn’t open boxes to finds shards of broken glass and small animals that had somehow burrowed their way into cardboard boxes labeled “kitchen supplies”. But, thankfully, most everything we transported from “old” house to “new to us” house remained intact.
That is, except my electric can opener.
At first, my line of thinking was thankful: “Oh, if that’s the only thing that broke, that’s great!” Yet, after a while of using a cheap, plastic, handheld contraption, which admittedly I did not know even how to operate until my college dorm days, I began to long for the days when the ol’ Hamilton Beach can opener would quietly buzz open a can of mandarin oranges so fast you didn’t have time to blink.
It’s not a race, I told myself. The kids can wait on oranges. But the chili must go on.
So, there I was, attempting to open many, many cans of beans for a chili supper that night. Despite the fact that I have ridiculous upper body strength masked by my appearance of a lanky twelve year old boy, I squeezed that now dulled can opener so hard my knuckles began to turn white and bad thoughts began to creep into my sweat covered head, when suddenly, behind me, a voice of reason—
“Where did you find that? They used those a looong time ago. Probably back when you were a kid. You know, they make these electric ones now, Mommy! You just plug them right into the wall! And some cans even come with what they call a “pop top”, where you don’t even need a can opener at all!”
I sat the children down to explain that Mommy was not that old, and they did have electric can openers when I was a child. “But you know what, guys? When Mommy was little we didn’t have cell phones, a computer, the internet, CDs or DVDs, or iPads”. August, looking up from his sandwich and oranges in concern, dropped his lunch promptly and exclaimed, “WHAT?! Oh no! Did you have lights and a bed??”
Yes. Mommy had lights and a bed when she was little. Can openers are debatable.