Grape Soda, Car Keys, and Five Extra Minutes

May 1, 2007
I finally found the car keys that have been missing for three weeks today in the freezer.

by Noel Kelsch, RDH

I finally found the car keys that have been missing for three weeks today in the freezer. There they sat surrounded by frozen peas and overstuffed red bell peppers, frosted like a winter windowpane. How did they get there?

I got up early one morning and caught up on everything that I had been putting off. I mopped the floor, cleaned the dishes, washed down the cupboards, and even did the stove (something I usually put off until the smoke detector signals me that it is time).

I stood next to my gleaming stove beaming because I had five extra minutes before I had to leave for work. You see, I am time-challenged and often find myself wondering, “Where did those six hours go while I was watercoloring? It can’t be 4 a.m.; it was just 10 p.m.”

So I decided to throw something in the Crock-Pot® so I would have dinner ready when I walked in the door. I was singing, “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never ...” I opened the freezer and the liter of Great Gadzooks Grape soda that my husband put in to quickly chill the night before fell out and exploded all over my pristinely mopped floor.

The explosion caused it to spin around from one cupboard to the other, shooting the wall, spraying the ceiling, and finally resting on the edge of the stove. I bent over to grab it and slipped. I slid across the floor and purple pigment covered my freshly pressed uniform, hair, and face.

The dishes I had set out to dry were soon covered from the gently dripping ceiling that sounded like spring rain. All of the cupboards were an even purple hue.

I was 30 minutes late for work. My first patient wanted to know where that grape smell was coming from.

It took me weeks to clean it all up, and I never did find my keys ... until today. My kitchen still has the hint of grape soda.

Did I learn something from this? Yes - two very important lessons. If you have five extra minutes, sit down, relax, and put your feet up. My grandmother once told me, “Why run when you can walk? Why walk when you can sit down? Why sit down when you can recline? Why recline when you can lie down? Why do we always have to do more when we are already accomplishing so much?”

My second lesson? Always have more than one set of keys! It will not matter if you lose them, and you will not have to be stressed.

My husband gave me 10 sets of keys one year for Christmas. He really loves me and knows what I need. When I finished the kitchen and changed my clothes that day, I never gave a second thought to those missing keys. I simply took another set from the jar.

Noel Brandon Kelsch, RDH, is a freelance cartoonist, writer, and speaker. Noel’s cartoons can be seen in RDH magazine and her articles have been published in both dental and nursing trade magazines, as well as books. She has received many national awards including Colgate Bright Smiles Bright Futures, RDH/Sunstar Butler Award of Distinction, USA magazine Make a Difference Day award, President’s Service award, Foster Parent of the Year, and is a five-time winner of the Castroville (Calif.) Artichoke cook-off! Her family lives in Moorpark, Calif. She can be contacted at [email protected].