When the Easy is Impossible

What happens when everyone tells you something is easy, but you still can’t do it? In this post Robynn Bliss explores “easy”  If you haven’t yet read any of Robynn’s posts you are in for a treat!


English: A photo of a propane gas grill.

Two years ago we bought a grill. Some people might call it a barbecue but here in Kansas we pride ourselves on our barbecue. What our family has is a grill. The grill is attached to a small propane gas tank. Two years ago we bought that grill. And two years ago we grilled all summer long. We made chicken tikka and hamburgers, we grilled lamb kebabs and vegetables. Nothing is as delicious as food cooked outside. One year ago we grilled. We grilled pork chops and zucchini, gourmet pizzas and roasted mushrooms.

Up until June. In June our propane gas tank ran out. It was empty. There was no more grilling.

I wasn’t sure how to change the tank. I didn’t know where to go or how to do it. I asked several people. Their responses seemed heartening,

“Oh it’s really easy.”

“You just take it to the store.”

“Oh, no big deal!”

“You can exchange those anywhere!”

Everyone said it was so easy. They acted like it was so commonplace. But I had no idea how to do it. It became a momentous thing for me.

So I kept asking. I asked a couple of friends if they’d take my tank in and exchange it when they exchanged theirs. Everyone was agreeable and yet – it never happened. The tank sat empty.

I moved my cooking indoors. We fried hamburgers on the stove in a frying pan. I baked tandoori chicken in my oven in my kitchen. The kids would smell our neighbours grilling hotdogs and burgers. They’d ask if we could grill too. I just shrugged.

I couldn’t figure it out.

Last week some of our dearest friends from India were in town. She grew up in Kansas. She understands how things work here in the Midwest. And yet she’s crossed cultures and she empathizes with the trepidation of crossing into the unknown. She suggested we grill. I shrugged. She took charge. She sent the men out to get a gas tank. And they did. My husband actually went out and got us a new tank. Why hadn’t I asked him to do it earlier? Why hadn’t I communicated how hard this was for me? It really was as easy as that. 

Last Sunday at church a new Indian auntie was in church. When it came time to leave she couldn’t figure out how to open the side door. She tried pushing on the lever. She tried pulling on the latch. She pushed in the button and then pulled. No matter how hard she struggled, she couldn’t get it open. I was sitting at a table nearby. When she turned I saw from her face that she was stuck. She couldn’t figure it out. Her eyes met mine and she asked for help. She was specific and told me what she needed. I was on my feet as quick as I could. I rushed to her aid. I showed her how to push firmly on the cross-bar thingy and how to get out. She was so grateful.

It was so easy. It was no big deal…. If you knew how to do it. But if you don’t know it’s impossible.

I’m planning my next meal to grill. Should I make veggie kebabs? Should I grill up some meat for fajitas? As I cook I hope I always keep my eyes open for the person who doesn’t know how to do the easy. Because nothing feels as difficult as the “easy” when you don’t know what you’re doing!

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