Gadgets Remind Me of My Mother
My mother was a gadget freak. Some of them, like the Strawberry Huller, the Citrus Peeler - EZpeel , and the portable bidet she gave me when I returned from Italy definitely raised my eyebrows at the time. Yet now I keep her memory alive throughout the year by noticing all the great and glorious gadgets around me.
I Don’t Do Black Friday
In fact, I don’t really enjoy shopping much at all usually. When I realized this post is going live on Black Friday, I asked myself how I could tie Strategies of the Spirit blog into this crazy commercialized day. I decided to:
- Write this post in honor of my mother. . Each year I challenge myself to find small gadgets to put into Christmas Stockings in her memory. Some of them are truly ridiculous, some of them are sublime. How do you keep the memory of loved ones alive in your Christmas traditions?
- Use the gadget phenomenon as a meditation on my awe and gratitude for human ingenuity. I am constantly amazed by the creativity and design skill that goes into the never- ending invention of new gadgets.
- Share with you ten of the best gadgets I have lived with here this year. They are all linked in case you want to avoid the stores like I do!
My Ten Best Gadgets of 2014
Cyclops CYC-MHC-W Micro Mini LED Hat Clip Light We have two of these. They were a lifesaver last year when we lost power. The basement was flooding, and we needed to clear the floor in an otherwise pitch-black basement. They clip onto a baseball cap brim, leaving your hands free and shedding light wherever you look. Very handy!
Plastic Bag & Bottle Dryer My mom was way ahead of her time regarding recycling! She had one just like this decades ago. I’ve got one on my kitchen counter too. I HATE thinking about the amount of ziplock bags being thrown away after just one use.
Zojirushi CD-WBC30 Electric 3-Liter Water Boiler and Warmer I thought Kevin was silly when he asked for one of these for father’s day. What’s wrong with a simple kettle? Now I’m the one who uses it constantly. Hot water for tea or French press coffee is instantly available all day long. We drink a lot more herbal tea because of this gadget.
Hori Hori Japanese Style Multi-Purpose Garden Knife and Included Belt Kevin took over our flower garden this year. When he saw that the master gardener at Mohonk Mountain House had one of these on his belt he figured he too would be a better gardener with one of his own. He loves it.
Banana Carrier Actually, it was my daughter who turned me on to these ridiculous looking things. But they work! Protect an individual banana from getting all squished and yucky for eating on the go. You really have to wonder why this wasn’t invented decades ago?
Kaito 5-Way Powered Emergency AM/FM/SW Weather Alert Radio The number of power outages and cable service disruptions seem to be increasing here. I feel better knowing that we have this radio around. It has a hand crank battery generator, a solar panel that can charge a built-in battery as well, and an LED light. Are you prepared?
Yogourmet Electric Yogurt Maker I got my love of yogurt from my mother. Making my own yogurt lets me control the quality of the milk used and control the cost of my daily yogurt habit. This is the best yogurt maker I have ever used. It makes a big 2-quart container. I replaced the plastic container with glass. Yum.
Sunlite Mesh Bottom Bicycle Lift Off Basket My daughter is storing her bicycle here for a bit. It gave me the opportunity to get back in the saddle this summer for the first time in years. I got this very clever Bike basket/lift-off shopping basket so I could get more exercise on quick trips to the grocery store or farmer’s market. Very easy, very handy.
8" HEAT MASTER FLAME TAMER My mother always had one of these on her stovetop. It lets you simmer oatmeal, rice, stews etc. while diffusing the “hot spot” directly above the flame or electric coil so there is less sticking and burning. That really is true, but I confess I use it because it reminds me daily of my mother.
Best Gadget Pilgrimage Ever
If you ever want to marvel and laugh at the amazing and crazy ingenuity of gadgets and human nature, I highly recommend taking a trip to Old Forge Hardware Store in Old Forge, New York. They have aisle upon aisle of useful and entertaining household gadgets galore. They have some gadgets there that you have not seen in decades, and some new ones that make you scratch your head in wonder. We make an annual pilgrimage there just for the laughs and in search of small "Grandma Gadgets" for stocking stuffers. (There is a store-wide sale going on until December 31st)
Look around you
There are gadgets everywhere. Which gadgets amaze or delight you? Which leave you with a sense of wonder or gratitude?