Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Five-Minute People

“I’m not a five-minute person yet,” Helen said this morning.

We read recently that the ideal tea-steeping time, to release all the antioxidants and other healthy stuff, is five minutes.

We’ve had the tea habit since we made a trip to Scotland 35 years ago. I assume they must have steeped it three minutes there, because at first, we steeped it for three minutes. I set the count-down mode on my runner’s chronograph/wrist watch to three. There was a nice little “ching-ching” that rang 10 times when the three minutes were up.

Then we heard it should be four. I reset for four minutes. We seemed to make the adjustment from being three-minute people to four-minute people okay.

But we were younger then. Change comes harder when you’re older.

I don’t run anymore, but I keep buying the same Casio runner’s watch I’ve had since I started long-distance running when I turned 40. I know how to set its different functions. I don’t want to learn how to operate a different watch.

So it wasn’t any problem to reset the “ching-ching” for five minute tea steeping. Waiting for the ching-ching is quite different.

I’m usually up first. I clean up the kitchen from the night before [Helen cooks; I clean up] while I cook my oatmeal and steep my tea. I can wait five minutes because I have other things to do.

Helen gets up later. I’m sitting on the sofa eating my oatmeal and drinking my tea. When I hear her tea kettle stop whistling in the kitchen, I set my timer for five minutes. But her toast doesn’t take that long. She’s sitting in the living room with her tray when the chronograph does its ching-ching to alert her to remove the tea bag.

There’s no tea bag, though. She already pulled it out of the cup in the kitchen. She couldn’t wait. She’s not a five-minute person yet.

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