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Simplicity In A Box

Last year, I asked my husband for a radio for Christmas. Something for my kitchen counter. Something that would allow me to listen to NPR while I cooked. Nothing fancy, I didn’t even really want anything digital, as I grew up in the day of the radio dial. I’ll even go so far as to admit that in my preteen years, all the cool stations were still on AM.

In recent years, I had a boombox, one that had a CD player on the top and looked like a WMD with an antenna. Big and oblong and obnoxious with a handle, should I want to take it with me to the mall. Over time however my kids had borrowed it and eventually, it went the way of all things that kids borrow, to the beach, perhaps a few tailgate parties and then to hell.

I wasn’t upset over the loss of the box, but rather that I was then relegated to watching re-runs of "My House Is Worth What?" on mute, just for something to keep me company while I was cooking dinner. It didn’t take me long however to decide exactly what it was that I wanted.

A little radio with a little dial. Done. Nothing fancy schmancy with digital displays and flashing lights and shuffle and search and seizure, and a million buttons that I have no idea what they do and that I can’t see anyway. Just a radio. Is that so difficult? I have an IPod, I have a computer, I have a car with a radio and a CD/cassette player. We have Wiis, TVs, MP3s and DVDs enough to choke a horse.

And just when I thought things would never be the same again, he came through. A little radio in a handmade wood cabinet, with nothing but one little speaker and a dial, and a little light to tell you if you’re tuned in properly. That’s it. Pure and simple. Oh, and I might add, killer sound. The Model One AM/FM table radio by Henry Kloss for Tivoli Audio is touted by MSNBC as "the best sounding table radio ever made." We got ours at Target. From their collection of nostalgic goods. Nostalgia is a great trendsetter.

These days, I find that even if I have nothing to cook, I sit in the kitchen and listen – sometimes, it’s all about listening.

By Lesli Jason

Lesli Jason is a writer and editor living in the Miami area.
"Sometimes it takes the ridiculous to make the ridiculous look ridiculous."