Simple Christmas Pleasures · 24 December 2016

There was an old Van Camp’s pork and beans commercial that sang, “Simple pleasures are the best.” The corny old song was true and the product could lead to all sorts of great blog posts about Farts in Space or such nonsense, but it also lends itself to great introspection. Or at least a little blog post about a simple Christmas gift.

So what Christmas gift do you get for the woman who has everything? I mulled it over in my brain for many months this year and came up with nothing. My wife, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi, has all the tools and gadgets and toys she could ever want. Okay. It is true that most people want more regardless of what they already have. And there are surely electronics and other luxuries that my wife does not have, but we really do have enough stuff. Maybe even too much. (Do not tell her I said that.)

When it comes to gift giving though, I usually have a fairly easy time because The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi tells me what to get her. She does not like to leave Christmas or birthday presents to chance. And I usually follow her advice. After all, even though there is no surprise, it is still a joy to watch somebody’s eyes light up with delight at getting something she wants.

This year, The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi told me what she wanted months ago. She said she wanted a new pantry. Well, she said she wanted cabinets for the pantry instead of the wire shelves that were in there when we got the house. We looked at cabinets and found that they were not an inexpensive proposition. So I put out a request to one of my friends who just happens to be a professional handyman. I just asked him if he would keep me in mind when he was doing some remodel that had to have cabinets removed. He said I should keep a lookout on Craigslist too, but I never really tried that. I just sort of ignored the whole thing and kept wondering what to get my wife as the months started closing in on December.

Lo and behold, as November ended, my friend told me that he had some cabinets he was not going to use on his own remodel. He got some nice cabinets which were not quite right for his installation. So he gave them to me. I was going to get them when we our schedules worked out, but he actually ended up delivering them. (I would not have been able to get them in my truck anyway, but that is a different story.)

Well to make a short story a little longer, I was not quite sure what to do with these practically new cabinets. They were sitting in our living room for a whole day while I pondered what I ought to do. The Mindboggling Mrs. Miyoshi knew. She said to just put them up. Well, after measuring and doing a little CAD work, I figured out what to do. I came up with an elaborate plan and thought I was set.

Thankfully, I talked to the receiver of the gift and she gave me some good advice. “Just take out the old stuff and put in the new stuff. And do it right away.” So I did. A couple days after we got the cabinets, they were up and we had a new pantry. Just like that.

Well, we do not have any Van Camp’s in the pantry, but we do have new cabinets. And they are the simple, perfect Christmas gift for my wife who has everything. (A little blood, sweat, and tears are always good gifts.) And they remind me that simple pleasures really are the best. (Even it if is a bit corny to say so.)

© 2016 Michael T. Miyoshi

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